Helping your child to feel loved and accepted at home does wonders for the confidence and self-esteem of children. One easy way to do this is through encouraging words aimed at helping the child feel positive and uplifted.
Here are 10 things you can say to your child to encourage them and to help them remain healthy, happy, and adjusted.
I’m proud of you.
Every child wants to hear that their parents are proud of them. Children live to please their parents and any chance you get to confirm that you’re pleased with the choices they’re making goes a long way to keep their self-esteem high.
I noticed that.
Often, as parents, we do this when our kids display negative behavior. We saw them hit their sibling, take a treat, or make a poor grade and we let them know. Let’s do the opposite here and let them know when we notice the good they do. Perhaps they broke up a fight at the bus stop, or they shared something with a neighbor, or they complemented someone at the playground, whatever it is your child is done, let them know you noticed (and to point 1, that you’re proud of them). Children want to know that not only notice when they make mistakes but that you see when they’re performing well.
My favorite thing about you is/I love that about you.
Children want to know how special they are to their parents. Part of that is letting them know what you love about them. Learn to pull your child aside and tell them something every day that you love about them, or which traits of theirs are your favorites.
Letting kids know they are doing well encourages them to do better. Let your child know they’re doing a good job when they work hard at something that doesn’t come naturally to them, is hard for them, or is an area that they’re working hard to improve upon.
You were right.
Sometimes as parents we get it wrong (OK, a lot of times). Having the humility to tell your kids that they were right about an issue not only builds them up, but it shows that you don’t care simply about being right, but about doing what’s right. Often children are given the perception from parents that we are infallible and that can lead to discouragement (“Mom and dad think they’re always right, so why try?”) Letting our children know that they’re right and we’re wrong goes a long way to developing a healthy relationship between us and our children.
Always apologize when you were wrong. From the time our kids can speak, we reinforce this upon them, but then don’t give them a living example in our interactions with them. The next time you make a mistake, lose your temper or make an inaccurate accusation, saying I’m sorry will help lift the spirits of your child and help them see you make mistakes too and can own up to them.
Kids have brilliantly creative minds. Acknowledge their ideas is a great way to keep them engaged in anything you’re doing together—especially chores. Let’s say, for instance, you’re rearranging a room in the house and your child suggests it might look better in a different place than you planned. Try the idea out, and whether or not it works out, acknowledge the idea in deed and word. This helps kids feel heard and like their voice matters in the family.
How would you…?
Asking children for their general input is another way to teach them how to communicate in the real world. It shows that want to hear their thoughts and opinions on a matter and you’re willing to consider it. The next time you’re planning a vacation, deciding about dinner, or choosing a movie, ask your child for input and where you can honor it, do so.
Will you teach me…?
This is great. We learn by teaching and what better way for your child to show you what they’ve learned (and develop some leadership skills all the while) is to teach you something they know. The next time your child is playing a video game, using an app, or doing something unfamiliar to you, ask them to teach you how, too, and watch them light up with delight.
I love you no matter what.
One of the great insecurities of children is falling in and out of their parent’s love. When they’re good, they feel loved and are shown it; when they’re not so good, they can feel the icy coldness of parental disappointment. Remind your child that no matter what, you love them and care for them. It’s not them, but the action/choice/behavior that you’re not excited about and that it’s not a reflection of who they truly are and how much you love them.
And there you have it, 10 ways to encourage your child. What are some ways you like to encourage your child? Leave us a comment!