Encouraging words are hard to come by sometimes. But it’s easier than you think when prioritizing your child’s growth, development, and well-being. Just like air, water and food, children need encouragement to press on and to grow.
Encouragement boosts a child’s sense-of-self, confidence, and has a large impact on their mental health. Where else will they get this daily ‘shot in the arm’ if not from you?
This is the final installment of things to say to your child and why it is important to say them.
33. Thank you for being you. You know your child is unique, but they may struggle with whether or not that is a good thing. Express appreciation for their uniqueness and encourage them to continue in it.
34. Me too. Children often see themselves as the only one who thinks, says, or does certain things. Show them they are not alone (or an oddball) by agreeing with them.
35. I’m proud of you. Not to be overused or it becomes patronizing. But when the moment is right, it’s the perfect thing to say. Our children want our approval.
36. You are interesting. Find something that interests you in your child, then ask about it frequently. Let them be the expert.
37. Tell me your story. Whether the story of their life or what is happening in the moment, ask for their story. It will be from their perspective which is what is guiding their thoughts, feelings, and decisions.
38. Tell me more. This is one of the most coached phrases in my career as a therapist. When you child is talking, ask them for more. We want to know what they are thinking and what is motivating them.
39. You’re a hard worker. When they are, let them know you see it and appreciate it. Encourage it. Hard work that is rewarded builds confidence.
40. Not everyone will like you, and that’s ok. Kids and teens want everyone to like them. Some even believe they’ve done something wrong if others don’t like them. Let them know that pleasing everyone all the time is an impossible task.
Try one of these encouragements each day for the next week. Notice how your child responds to your comment. Then notice if things feel different by the end of the week.
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