Raising children can be a wild journey, and there’s no one way to do it. Still, there’s certain phrases that no child should go without hearing. These words can mean a lot and change a kid’s life for the better, so try to say them once in a while and you’ll be imparting some future wisdom in their own minds.
1. I’m sorry
Often, this is something that kids say to their parents. But it should be a two-way street. Apologize for your actions when it’s warranted, and they’ll learn to model this behavior.
2. I love you
This seems like a given, but sometimes as parents we don’t say it enough. Especially when it comes to dads and their sons. Expressing your love regularly strengthens your bond.
3. I’m proud of you
Kids always seek validation, and impressing their parents means the world. So show them their accomplishments mean something by telling them how proud you are – it’s a great motivator.
4. I made a mistake
Owning up to your own mistakes will help your kids do the same, and also realize that mistakes are inevitable in life.
5. I’ll always be here for you
Support is everything. Some aspects of childhood, like school, can be very isolating. Knowing they have a parent as an advocate in their corner is important.
6. You’re beautiful the way you are
We have so many odd beauty standards around the world that can make children feel like they’re not born beautiful. By defying these standards and reminding your kid of their beauty, confidence will flourish.
7. I was wrong
Some kids think adults don’t make mistakes. We know that’s not true. Fessing up to being wrong lets them know you’re not perfect, and it’s ok to make mistakes. We all do!
8. Let’s talk about it
Communication is essential in building a good relationship with your child, as well as teaching them skills of communication and how to express themselves. It teaches them to value talking over violence as well.
9. I will not judge you
We all face judgment throughout our lives, whether that’s from within, or from other people. Knowing a parent won’t dole out judgement helps a kid feel like they’re more safe being vulnerable and honest about experiences.
10. These things happen
Sometimes, life throws lemons at you, and you need to make lemonade whenever possible. Teaching your kid this is vital – sometimes, things don’t go according to plan, and we have to go with the flow.
11. I forgive you
Forgiveness is a big thing in relationships, whether it’s with a parent, lover or friend. Apologies are important, but so is forgiveness. It releases someone from their own actions and gives them what they need to hear, even if you’ve moved on.
12. I believe in you
Sometimes you just need someone in your corner backing you up and reminding you that you have what it takes to do anything from a swim lesson to the science fair.
13. Do you need a hug?
Sometimes we suffocate our kids with hugs when it’s for our benefit rather than theirs. If you see your kid is looking bummed out, ask them if a hug will make it better. There’s nothing more comforting than a parent’s embrace.
14. You’re such a kind sibling
Why are children sometimes monsters to each other? Because we pit them against each other and put them in time out or punish them when they fight. But congratulating the positive moments are just as important in encouraging siblings to be kind to each other.
15. We’re in this together
Parents are a child’s biggest advocate. Even if the boat they’re on is sinking (they’re being bullied, struggling with puberty, or having problems with a teacher) telling them that you’re on their side can make a hug difference.
16. Tomorrow’s a new day
Bad days suck, but the next day is a clean slate. Passing on this mentality to your kids can be truly helpful in turning them into optimists – they won’t dwell on things, and see a new dawn as a new opportunity to do better.
17. What can I do?
Parents often impose so much pressure on kids without doing a mental health check-in. Asking this simple question can help you get to know your offspring a little better, and make you closer in the end.
18. You don’t have to be perfect
Perfection is something that many parents teach their kids, but it’s an unrealistic standard. No one is perfect and the sooner you teach them that, the soon they’ll develop their own identity.
19. It’s ok to be different
When you’re a kid it seems like the most important thing is fitting in. But being different should be celebrated. When your parent approves this, it makes their child less insecure, and proud of their uniqueness.
20. You deserve respect
Teaching our kids the foundation of respect is important in terms of teaching them it’s important to receive respect in relationships, as well as to act with respect towards everyone around you.
21. I’m here to listen
Parents talk at their kids all the time, but how often do they really listen? Guidance counselors aren’t enough – hear your child’s joys and struggles, and do so with passion.