Ways to Tell Your Kids They Are Triff!

Triff. Not a word you hear just every day. But a word, nonetheless. Because I said it is! 🙂

Many years ago, early into my cottage class teaching of homeschoolers, I had favorite words/sayings that I made up to write on kids’ papers.

Two phrases really–

TRIFF—short for terrific

Wowsie, wow, wow!


If a student got one of these marks on their paper that week, they knew that they had done a great job.

(To this day, fifteen years later, younger siblings of kids who used to be in classes many years ago, ooh and ahh over a paper with one of those phrases, saying that, according to big brother or big sister, those words are the gold standard of all grading—better than a 100%, an 11/11, or an A+! Don’t you just love kids???)


Of course, I didn’t just use those words with my students, for they actually originated with my own TRIFF kids and their wowsie, wow, wow behaviors, attitudes, and helpfulness.

And guess what? I still use those with my sweet almost-two-year-old grandson. (He is truly TRIFF!)


You don’t have to tell your kids they are TRIFF in order to affirm and praise them. But you do have to tell them they are something. Something good. Something desirable. Something to be celebrated and appreciated.

Obviously, a pat on the back and simple, “Great job up there” when he sits down from playing the piano is great. As is a ruffling of the hair for a teen girl with the word “Awesome” as she is leaving the soccer field.


But when you want to put it in writing, and even possibly be a little more specific, it is good to have Affirmation Cards.

You can make these yourself on the computer or even keep a sticky note pad on your desk and write them periodically—sticking them to their bathroom mirror, headboard, notebook, etc. Or you can check out our newest ones to download, cut, and have on hand.


Click on the picture to download!

52 Ways to Say TRIFF



(We kept some in a basket in the bathroom along with a pen so that my husband and I could grab one, write a personal note on it, and pass it out. Sometimes the bathroom is truly the best place to get stuff done!)


Either way, just do something. We should always let our kids know that their efforts, character, responsibility, kindness, cheerfulness, hard work, and more are noticed—and appreciated.


Below is a list of sentiments that we put on our first set of Affirmation Cards available at our store (and soon to be in a Freebie Friday for newsletter and blog subscribers). Feel free to print these off and use them to create your own. You will never be at a loss for encouraging words again! 🙂

1. Fantastic diligence on school work!
2. Great job in serving!
3. You are TRIFF!
4. You are turning into an amazing young person!
5. I smile a thousand watt smile when I think of you!
6. Out of all the kids who are not my own, I like you the best!
7. So many interests, so little time. I’m proud of how you try things!
8. Thanks for being you!
9. I love you ten million times infinity and beyond.
10. So glad you’re mine!
11. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be sure that I’m not dreaming this life—and having you for my child!
12. You define diligence!
13. I could watch you forever!
14. Your study habits are improving! So proud of you!
15. Love your light bulb moments. Creativity is one of your special gifts!
16. Sooooo grateful for you!
17. What an example to younger kids! Keep up the good work!
18. You beasted that homework this week!
19. I see slaying dragons in your future!
20. Love, love, love your kindheartedness!
21. Brave. Courageous. Steadfast. I’m talking about you!
22. I love how respectful you are to the elderly!
23. Super grateful that you are compassionate and kind to the disabled.
24. C.O.O.L. Those should be your initials!
25. I appreciate your appreciation!
26. Your stick-tu-a-tive-ness is going to take you places!
27. So glad you prove that honesty is the best policy!
28. Chef-in-Training! Wow!
29. The “white tornado” award goes to you! Great job cleaning your bedroom!
30. The cheerful chorer recipient is….you!
31. Ideas and the persistence to carry them out? Wowsie! You’re doing great!
32. Wowsie, wow, wow!
33. I miss you when you are gone!
34. Can’t wait till I hear the door opening—and you are on the other side!
35. Inspiring but not tiring! That’s you!
36. Generosity runs through your veins!
37. Self control is the very best way to go! Superb!
38. Tough enough! You have such perseverance!
39. Strong to the end! I love how you don’t give up.
40. I respect you as a person so much!
41. I admire you!
42. Counting the hours til we can be together again!
43. You are…I mean, you HAVE great character!
44. I love how hard you try!
45. So proud of how much you practice!
46. LOVE being your ‘rent!
47. Manners show people that you care. No glad you have such great manners!
48. I am so blessed to be your parent!
49. There is no one in the world like you! And I’m so glad you’re mine!
50. Go for it! You’ve shown your determination….I know you can do this!
51. One word describes you: TRIFF!
52. Your gentleness with children is so special!




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