We all want our children to feel unconditional love in their lives and to help them know they are needed and important. We try to do this by our actions and our words. Our actions by making sure they have food to eat, a place to sleep, clothes to wear, and that they have time to spend with those they love.
Yes, these actions are important, but kids also need our words. Because what we say and how we make them feel will be a lasting impression more than what we do.
Today we discuss 16 life changing phrases kids need to hear (some daily) to help mold them into the people we know they can become.
16 Life Changing Phrases Kids Need to Hear
1. I Love You
We often think our children know how much we love them, but they also need to hear these words FROM US (not anyone else). You can never spoil a child with love (candy, sure, toys, definitely). Tell them you love them as often as you see them.
2. I Love Your Mom/Dad
Your children need to hear from you how much you love your significant other. They need (and deserve) the tender feelings of confidence knowing their parents love each other.
I understand arguments and disagreements will arise. If you choose to display these arguments in front of your children in a healthy manner, help them understand confrontation and healthy compromise. However, never leave your child doubting whether his/her parent’s love each other.
If this isn’t your current situation than I am sorry. Do your best and prayerfully follow the counsel that is given to you from professionals.
3. It’s Okay
Children will make mistakes. They will tug at your very heartstrings. They also experience trials and opposition in their lives (such as when they break a toy or fall down). We can tell our children that “it’s okay” to fall down, feel sad and make mistakes. We also need to be ready to be there for them when they do.
4. I’m so proud of you for (insert accomplishment).
One day I was helping my daughter with potty training. She was having a very frustrating day. She had several accidents earlier in the morning and wanted to go back to diapers. I sat her on the toilet for what seem to be the millionth time and took her little hands in mine.
I then looked her in the eyes and said, “I’m so proud of you for not giving up and still trying even though this is hard.”
She cried for a bit, but then she smiled and said, “Thank you.” I cannot convey in proper words the look in her eyes as she knew I truly meant what I said. Those words (my confidence in her) meant more to her than anything else. They’ll do the same for your little ones as you share your tender feelings with them.
If we expect our children to have proper manners we also need to show them manners as well. The phrase “treat others as you want to be treated” apply the same with our children.
6. Thank You
Thank your children for picking up their toys, for playing nice with their siblings, and for the other seemingly small acts they do daily. Be specific as you thank them so they recognize you are aware of their actions.
I understand they aren’t doing your taxes, paying the mortgage or other important tasks to run a household. But what they are doing is leading up to that point when they reach adulthood. They are still contributing members of the family, no matter how big or small. They need to know what they are doing is making a difference.
7. I’m Sorry
Never be too big to tell your children you’re sorry. We all make mistakes and need forgiveness. As we apologize to our children we show them our example. They will be more likely to do the same, especially as they reach their teenage and adult years.
8. You Can Do This
Children need to know we have confidence in them. They need to know we believe in them. As they feel our faith in them grow they will have the tools necessary to move forward in faith and accomplish some amazing things in their lifetime.
9. What Do You Think?
My children LOVE when I ask them this question because they each have an opinion (even my smallest who still ‘babbles’ always has something to say). As you seek your child’s opinion and advice they will also feel your confidence in them. But more importantly, they will feel your trust. Children have opinions and love to be heard.
10. Hug Time!
Hugs, kisses, wrestling, tag, anything to do with proper and loving physical touch help children mentally, physically, and spiritually. They need and thrive on our love for them. Some of my fondest memories as a little girl was my parents hugging and kissing us goodnight. When they did I knew they loved me.
11. Bed Time!
This is probably one of the hardest things to say as an adult (and hear as a child). However, children need their sleep and parents’ need their quiet time. Do your best (according to your family needs) to put your children to bed early and on time. Children thrive on schedules and routines. This may take some practice doing, but I promise it’s worth it!
12. I Can See You’re (insert emotion: angry/frustrated/sad/etc.)
By helping your child recognize their diversity of emotions you’re labeling for them what they are feeling. Children feel sadness, they feel anger, but they don’t have the proper terminology or life experiences to label how they are feeling.
As you help them recognize and cope with these emotions, you are building a foundation for them to have trust and confidence in you. They, in turn, will come to you as problems arise in the future.
13. What Can I Do For You?
Service is one way we show our love. Serve your children. Ask them what they feel their needs are and act accordingly in their best interest. If you ask them “what can I do for you” and they say “buy me a pony,” you can laugh and explain why they’re not able to have a pony yet (you live in the city, they need to save their money up for one, landlord won’t allow pets, etc.)
14. Let’s Play A Game!
Children need your time, they need you. Relax and play a game with them. Whether you decide to play a board game or a run-around game in the backyard. They have your attention, they have you and ultimately, that’s all they want. By spending time with them you are teaching them how to have fun from a life of busy and work.
15. Let’s Read A Book!
There is no greater gift you can give than to teach a child how to read and to love reading. I grew up in a home with a mother who loves to read. I will always thank her for that because I am teaching the same to my children.
16. No, Please!
I am having a good laugh as I am writing this article. About half way through writing this article, my 18-month son came over with his water bottle and started scattering water everywhere (he must have wanted to water the carpet and couch).
Some of the water got on my laptop. I quickly grabbed his bottle and said, “No please! First commandment of laptops, thou shalt not spill water” and handed him back the bottle. What he did next amazes me.
He put his bottle down, went to the kitchen and came back with the dishtowel. Once he returned he attempted to clean my laptop. He then cleaned the rest of his mess.
I promise our children listen to us, they listen to you. I understand some days are not easy. Everyone is shouting at each other, people are hurt and crying, it seems like no one listens after you’ve told them for the millionth time not to do x.y. and z.
But, the words you use and the lessons you are teaching will leave a lifelong impression on your children long into their adult years. You need to remember, you are raising someone’s future father or mother. You are raising someone’s husband or wife. What you do matters.
Are there certain words you tell your child daily to help build up their confidence? Leave a comment and let us know down below.
Micah Klug is a wife, homeschooling mother to five children, and author. She teaches time-tested solutions to help parents remember what matters most in life, including strengthening their home, faith, and family relationships. To learn how a child who grew up in an authoritarian home is now creating an environment of peace and joy in her own home visit this page. If you want to contact Micah, send her an email here or email [email protected].