Our words speak life into the lives of our children. More than child birth, the words we share with them shape who they are as children and who they will become as adults. In essence, we are mini Gods to them and in playing this role we should try to impart as much encouragement as we can so that they will feel safe, loved and valued.
If you haven’t already, please take the time to whisper these 7 phrases to your child at some point in their early childhood development and watch your child’s quality of life soar.
1. Everyone makes mistakes.
When your child makes a mistake you might be quick to administer a swift punishment to teach him a lesson. Soon, they will come to expect these punishments as a result of every mistake. It may be a good idea to surprise them by offering grace every so often. By letting your child know that everyone makes mistakes and letting them off with a warning, they will learn to forgive themselves and move on more quickly when they make an undesirable decision in their adult lives.
2. I love you.
We tend to show love the best way we know how. We make sure our children are fed, have clothes are entertained and have a decent place to live. For many parents, this is their way of showing love but it is also important to SAY the actual words.
Children are forming their idea of this world by how parents treat them and what they see in books and on television. In their little minds, your taking care of their needs may be something they feel you are obligated to do so they won’t equate love with their well-being. They won’t even know how much effort it takes to provide for them until they have children of their own. Instead of simply buying them the things you wished you had as a child, be sure to let them know, “I do this because I love you.”
3. I’m glad you were born.
Even though this sounds a little cheesy, it’s actually a good practice to have on every birthday your child celebrates. To know that their parent appreciates that they are alive will ease their fears about the world and allow them to feel purpose and loved. They will carry this feeling with them into adulthood and have more healthy and meaningful relationships with others.
4. Everything is going to be okay.
When a child does something that is out of line we rush to correct them but it is also important that after the correction, we allow them the relief of knowing that everything is okay. Children live in their own little cocoon where they are the center of the world and they often mirror our reactions to events and circumstances. No matter how devastating the event may be in our own lives or their world, a simple assurance that everything will be okay will be like a message sent from the heavens because if Mom said it, it must be true.
5. Sleep tight.
It’s 9pm and all you want to do is have a glass of wine and fall asleep with your laptop next to you but before you rush your kids into their beds it is important that you give them a well wish. As your child falls asleep this well wish will linger in their minds and they will rest better and lull them to sleep like the most beautiful lullaby.
6. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me.
Even if your kids drive you crazy, at some point in their lives you should pull each one to the side and make this statement. It’s not about lieing to your children, it’s about letting them know that their presence in your life is valued and their existence is cherished. The best age to say this to your child is before they hit middle school and everything you say evokes an eye roll.
7. We’re having breakfast for dinner.
Outside of not being able to afford a decent meal and having to disguise your lack of resources as fun, having breakfast for dinner and announcing it to the kids is a playful way to show them that it’s okay to break the rules sometimes and it will spice up your home life and your child’s heart.
For My Savvy Sisters: What did your parents say to you that made you smile and feel loved as a child?