My mother was really good at encouraging me. She especially emphasized how smart she thought I was, which made me feel smart. And hearing her say it all of the time made me confident about my ability.
Children learn who they are through interactions with their parents. Our kids need to hear certain things from us. In the daily grind of parenthood, it can be hard to keep track of the big picture, but keep in mind these five encouraging words for kids that they need to hear specifically from you.
1. You’re special and unique.
There is no one else like your child. Letting them know this will build confidence in them. When they realize that no one else can take their place in your heart, they will know their value, and they won’t let others take advantage of them.
2. You’re intelligent and have what it takes.
These words spoken repeatedly will build your child’s identity. And your child will believe what you say to them and about them, especially if you say it frequently. This is why it’s so important to make sure we are speaking positive things rather than negative ones.
3. I’m proud of you.
Kids need to know that you see them. When you tell them you are proud of them, you are validating who they are and what they accomplish. Be specific about what makes you proud of them. When you use concrete examples of why you’re proud, it helps them to understand themselves better.
4. I like you.
Most likely our kids already know we love them, but they also need to know we like them. Let them know what noteworthy qualities you see and admire in them.
5. You can change the world.
I recently heard a father talk about how every night as he tucked his children into bed, he would encourage them that they had purpose. He repeatedly told them that they could change the world–that they may have been created to do something about the particular problems they noticed in the world.
What other things do you think every kid needs to hear from their parents?
Cassandra Soars has published various national magazine articles on a wide range of topics, including life in Mozambique, Africa, where she lived for five years. Her first book Love Like Fire: The Story of Heidi Baker is available on Amazon.