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5 Things You Should Say to Your Child Today

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Our children should receive words of encouragement from us everyday — but especially on the harder days. I am sure most of us are good at using positive reinforcement (saying things like “good job” and “that was very smart of you”) when they exhibit a desired behavior. But there are certain things you should say to your child every day that are not tied to their behavior.

Try randomly speaking these 5 phrases over your kids today and work on making it a habit!

1. “You are a kind person.”

Remind your child they are kind. Try not to tie their kindness to a specific action they performed or thing they said. Simply remind them they are kind are out the blue! If you are speaking with an older child and they happen to ask you why you think they are kind, you can give examples of kindness they display, but try to keep the statements more general in nature.

2. “God made you special by…”

As your child grows, they will constantly look for a place to find their identity. It is our job as parents to direct them to their true identity. I remind my daughter that she is God’s creation and that He specifically made her exactly the way she is. Try to point out unique and special things about your child when speaking this over them. For example, if your child likes to help out in the kitchen at mealtimes, say something like: “God made you special by giving you such a big desire to help mommy in the kitchen.”

3. “I love being your mom because…”

Even on the difficult days, we all love being moms to our littles (and not-so-littles)! We should take the time to express this to our children on a regular basis. Tell your child you love being their mama and maybe even add a “because” at the end every now and again. I often tell my daughter I like being her mama because she makes life fun and unpredictable.

4. “I am so proud of you for…”

Does your child’s face ever light up as you clap as they master a skill for the first time? They’re beaming because they love seeing you be proud of them. Take time out of your day to remind your child how proud of them you are. You can keep it simple with just that statement, or you can give them a specific reason. One I often use with my daughter is, “I am proud of you for having a big heart.”

Our partner program, All Pro Dad has monthly chapter meetings at schools where dads enjoy breakfast with their kids and engage in meaningful conversations and activities. The chapter meetings include “Pride Moments” where a father gets to say in front of the group why he is proud of his child. It’s pretty powerful. Do you have an All Pro Dad chapter or want to start one at your child’s school? Click here.

5. “Thank you for…”

We constantly teach our kids the importance of manners. We encourage them to say “please,” and “thank you,” but are we remembering to do the same with them? Our children crave appreciation and recognition just as we do, and we should do our best to provide them with it whenever we can.

Whether you are thanking them for throwing their snack wrapper away on their own, or simply thanking them for being fun to play with — those two little words sure do go a long way! Be sure to thank them for just being themselves, too. While home with my daughter I often sprinkle, “thanks for being you,” into our conversations.

Bonus: Here are some things not to say to sons.

What would you add to the list of things you should say to your child?

ASK YOUR CHILD...

What is something I do to make you feel special and loved?

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