Our kids' inner dialogue is built off of what they hear from those around them. It’s so important that we choose our words carefully and that we build up that inner voice to be the strongest, healthiest, most optimistic, caring, and loving version it possibly can be.
So I wanted to share with you a few things that we say to our kids every single day. They may seem simple, but they are effective and important.
1) I love you so much
This one seems obvious, but I know sometimes we can just assume people know how much we love them. We need to be telling our kids all day every day that they are loved and wanted.
2) You are so smart
Whether we remind them at the time of doing sometime that really showed their smarts, or at times when they might be struggling to figure something out. Let's always remind them how smart they are.
3) Thank you for letting me be your mom
OK, so obviously, they didn't technically have a choice! haha but I see my kids really light up when I say this, and I think it's one that goes a long way for making kids see how appreciated they really are.
4) You are so kind to your little brother, thank you for being that way with him
IF there are siblings in your family, encouraging kindness and loving behavior toward one another is something that deserves constant reminding. If you only have one child, I like to use this example with the other people in the child's life, like cousins or grandparents, or classmates.
5) I am so proud of you
I like to tell my kids how proud I am of them in times where the pride is oozing out, but also in times where they might wonder if I'm still proud, like after a loss in soccer, or a time where they may not have lost their cool, etc. My hope is that they will then start to learn that self-pride in every situation, win or loss. because that self-pride is more important than my pride for them.
6) We are so grateful to have you in our lives
Our kids need to hear us expressing gratitude on a daily basis, especially for the things most of us take for granted, like our families.
7) Nothing is impossible
We all need to hear this reminder more often, don't we?
8) You can do anything you want if you try hard
This one might not be as important if you have a kid that naturally loves to work hard to see that final outcome, but my oldest tends to give up when the going gets tough so this is something we are constantly preaching.
9)That’s a great question
We PRAISE asking any and all questions around here, I hope that we can give them to confidence to question everything in life.
10) You always come up with a great way to do things
Building that confidence to trust themselves in the process.
11) Thank you for including me
I like to thank my kids for including me and anyone else in their playtime or other activities. The idea is that it will encourage them to continue being inclusive to those around them.
Thank you for allowing me to have a few minutes alone, it's important for each of us to recharge
I tend to breed some pretty clingy kids! haha and it isn't their favorite thing to allow my or their dad to have our space....but I want my kids to see us prioritizing our self-care, or me time, so that they value that for themselves too.
12) I’m always here for you
You can never remind them too much that you are the most trustworthy person in their lives and that they can always, always count on you. This is going to be so important heading into the later years of adolescence.
13) I trust you to make good decisions
Sometimes, when faced with an opportunity to make a not so good decision, I like to step back and let them decide instead of telling them what they should or shouldn't be doing. and as I do this, I make sure they know I trust them so that learn to trust themselves.
14) You're beautiful, inside and out
I know.... I know.... Lots of buzz lately around not commenting on our kids looks. And while I do agree with some of the idea behind that, I also think, personally, kids need to hear that their parents think they are beautiful...inside and out. ESPECIALLY when they ask us. I believe you can tell them this and also teach them to know that truly only their own opinions about this matter.
15) You know your body best.
There are so many important things with this one. We find this one especially helpful if you have a hesitant kid, and we learned it from Dr. Becky at Becky Good Inside. When our kids are feeling especially hesitant, we let them sit back and assess as long as possible, and remind them that they know their body best, and we trust them to let us know when their body feels ready to join in.
All throughout the day, we look for ways to encourage them in everything they are doing, while letting them have the space to learn from mistakes. And then encouraging that process of course. It’s easy to go on autopilot and assume your kids know you feel these things but it’s vital that we tell them every single day because it doesn’t take long for that pesky self-doubt to creep in for any of us. It’s important to let them know how proud of you are of them not just in the pride-inducing moments but even more importantly they need to hear it when they are struggling. And even more important than your pride for them is the pride they learn to feel for themseleves. I find these affirmations especially helpful during moments of breakdowns, tantrums, fear etc.
I hope you found this list helpful.