Helping our children build self-confidence is a vital task, and it’s relatively simple to do so on a daily basis. It’s not about inflating their ego and vanity, but letting them know that they are loved, respected, and appreciated. Saying positive and motivating things to children is essential for them to feel supported as they develop their talents and abilities, and to overcome difficulties, without feeling overly pressured or stressed.
Here are 22 phrases that can do our children a lot of good (and not just them — a lot of these expressions can be helpful in any relationship!). And here’s a tip as you consider these: Try to replace generalized praise with recognition of specific actions and attitudes. For example, instead of telling your child, “You’re very smart,” refer to some specific moment in which he or she showed intelligence: “You give a great answer to that question!” “You figured out a really good solution for how to fix that problem!” “It’s great that you learned so much about dinosaurs!”
- I love being your father/mother/grandparent/uncle …
- I’m grateful to God for your existence!
- I’m proud of you for (say what it was). Congratulations! You’re very loved. Did you know that?
- You make me very happy! Thank you!
- Our family wouldn’t be the same without you!
- You can say “no” if you want to.
- I believe in you and I trust in you.
- You were right.
- We can try doing it your way.
- I want to hear your opinion about this. What do you think?
- I can’t wait to spend more time with you tomorrow/next week/etc.!
- It’s great that you’re curious to learn about things!
- You just asked a really good question.
- Congratulations! You made a great choice!
- I learn a lot of new things when I’m with you!
- I understand you.
- We all make mistakes!
- No one’s perfect!
- I’m listening. You can tell me whatever you want.
- It was brave of you to do that! Congratulations.
- I love you!
By referring to specific things children do, we will encourage them to cultivate positive attitudes and approaches to life. We can motivate them to take an interest in life, to put an effort into what they do, to be proactive, and to persevere in the face of difficulty. This way, we’ll teach them that they can rely on our support, and that it’s normal to make some mistakes in life as we learn and grow.
5 Ways to encourage self-confidence in your kids
How to talk with your children about love