Words have power, and what you say to your child matters. As a parent, it is your job to be your children’s number one cheerleader– the one who empowers them and builds them up. Whatever you tell them at a young age tends to stick, and they are likely to use what they hear on other people. That is why knowing what to say and when to say it is crucial.
Generally speaking, children thrive when they are spoken to positively. Children who receive positive words of affirmation tend to have healthier self-esteem and are more likely to be happy. They are also more likely to listen to you and what you have to say.
With that, here are 8 key phrases that every child needs to hear from their parents.
“I know you can handle it.”
This phrase is best used to provide support to your little one when they are faced with a challenge. Whether they are trying to learn new words, tackling a creative project, or attempting a new trick, telling your child “I know you can handle it” fosters a sense of responsibility.
This phrase is particularly helpful for anxious children who may need reassurance from time to time. Childhood anxiety can grow in severity as the child grows older, and it may cause issues if left unchecked. However, providing your child with ample support and speaking to them positively can help them cope. If you suspect your child has childhood anxiety, it is best to seek help from a professional.
“I’m ready to listen.”
No one is exempt from disagreements– not even you and your little one. Sometimes, your child may insist on doing things in a way that differs from yours. Naturally, this would spark conflict. However, instead of raising your voice to assert your authority as a parent, tell your child “I’m ready to listen” as calmly as possible.
Your child possibly already feels overwhelmed by all of the big emotions they are facing. This simple phrase can show them that you are on top of the situation, and this provides them with a sense of safety and security. It also shows your child the importance of processing your emotions, and it helps them feel heard.
“It’s okay to be different from others.”
Your child will meet people from all walks of life, and it is important for them to know that differences must be celebrated. Be sure to answer any questions they may have about this with as much patience as you can muster. They will learn from your example how to treat others. On the flip-side, your child may feel like they are different from their friends. This phrase can help them feel more accepted.
Affirm your little ones by telling them “It’s okay to be different from others”. This phrase helps encourage children to embrace their sense of individuality and helps build their sense of self. It also encourages your child to accept their own differences.
“I accept who you are.”
Your children will not be perfect, and that is completely okay! What matters the most is that you show them that you love and accept them no matter what. By telling your child this phrase, you are showing them support and letting them know that you accept them wholeheartedly– flaws and all!
Telling your child “I accept who you are'' will also empower your child to be who they truly are. They will be encouraged to explore all their interests, and they will be more comfortable expressing themselves to you and to others.
“I love being your parent.”
While your child may already know that you love them, it would be great practice to remind them that you love being their parent as well. Some children tend to think that you feel obligated to be there for them and support them. Remind them that that is not the case by telling them, “I love being your parent”.
This statement is incredibly powerful, and it is almost as effective at building your little one up as the words “I love you”. “I love being your parent” gives your little one a sense of comfort, and it makes them feel wanted and loved.
“Your opinions matter.”
Your little one will have a mind of their own, and they will often want to express their thoughts and ideas. Remind them that you are a safe space for them to share their opinions by telling them this phrase. This will make your child feel more open, and they are more likely to come to you to converse and process their thoughts.
Telling your little one that their opinions matter will encourage them to explore and form their own ideas about the world. It will also encourage your child to express themselves in a healthy way.
“You are an important part of this family.”
This phrase is great for making your child feel like they are a valuable addition to your family, and it is particularly helpful if you have more than one child. Saying this phrase shows that each member of your family plays a key role, and each one is important in their own way.
By telling your child that they are an important part of your family, you are reminding them that they have a place in the family. You affirm that they are loved and well-cared for, and they have a strong support system backing them up.
“I believe in you.”
Be the wind beneath your little one’s wings by telling them that you believe in them. Your child may encounter difficulties growing up, but they can get through them better if they know that you have faith in their abilities to make it through. This simple, yet powerful, phrase is also effective in encouraging your child to pursue their dreams.
While trying out new things may seem big and scary, telling your child “I believe in you” empowers them and gives them courage. It also makes them stronger mentally, which is something they will carry with them as they grow older.
As parents to 3 kids, we at Estella, believe in the power of words. Your child would benefit immensely through positive reinforcement, and these phrases can make them feel happy, loved, supported, and secure.