We can all get caught up in the business of life and forget the things that really matter.
There’s no denying we love our children and want nothing but the best for them, but we forget how life is made of small everyday choices and how the little things we do add up. In the end, the entirety of life is just a bunch of little things over time.
Let’s take the time to remember the little things.
Things like speaking life into our kids.
To make the most out of the time we have with our kids, here are 10 things they need to hear from you every day…
1. I Love You
These three words come easier for some people than others.
It has a lot to do with how you were raised and the kind of language in your home.
These are three simple words, yet we all know they are some of the most impactful. Even if you didn’t hear it a lot growing up, you recognize the importance of saying it to your kids.
If you truly want to speak love, value, and security into and over your kids, don’t forget to say “I love you” on a daily basis.
2. I’m Here for You
Speaking of value and security, few things will make your kids feel as valuable and secure as letting them know you’re there for them.
We have long conversations with our teens about how deep this goes.
Why would we spend hours explaining to our kids how we are here for them? Because a time is going to come when they will question it. They’re going to do something, or something is going to happen to them, and in that moment, we want it to be instilled in them: we’re not going anywhere.
We’re here for them whether they need some life advice or a favor, and we’re also here for them if they get themselves into a situation that may seem impossible to get out of.
How many kids do you hear about who get pregnant as a young teen or get into some legal trouble and their parents are the last to know? While we obviously don’t want either of those scenarios to happen for our kids, we all know kids don’t always make the best decisions. We want to be the people they can turn to in life’s best and worst moments — the first people they turn to.
3. You’re Important
Your kids need to know how you truly feel about them.
They need to know they’re a unique creation.
It’s not because they’ve done anything special or because of some sort of social status — they’re important because they’re yours and because they’re God’s.
And they need to be reminded of that.
4. I’m Proud of You
It’s important to acknowledge the things your child has done, but it’s also important to remind them you’re proud of them for everything they’ve done, even if they’re in the middle of a situation you’re not exactly proud of.
You should also remind them to be proud of their own accomplishments.
Not because they are God’s gift to mankind, but because they’re capable of more than they think.
5. Thank You
As parents, we tend to be looking for thanks more often than we give it.
We do everything for our kids and they should be thankful for that, but we can also be thankful for them and the things they do.
Gratitude is such an important part of life — giving it and receiving it.
6. What are Your Thoughts?
Yes, we should ask our kids what they think in situations.
We make most of the decisions—as we should—but it’s easy to get caught in the trap of never letting them make any decisions.
They need decision-making skills. They need to reason through their own thoughts.
You’re here to help them do that.
7. I Was Wrong
Own the mistakes you make. Especially in front of your kids.
If you raise your kid to think you’re perfect and incapable of messing up by hiding your mistakes, they’re going to grow up feeling like they can’t live up to that standard.
I always push this one hard with finances. Don’t hide your financial mistakes from your kids.
Let them learn from your success and your failures.
8. Think Big
Kids can dream. They’re better at it than we are.
Don’t crush your kid’s dreams by bringing “realism” into the equation.
Honestly, we do this because we’re worried about our kids. We’re afraid they’re going to be let down or have their dreams crushed.
We may not word it this way, but this is how it’s received in their minds:
“Professional sports are really selective and hard to get into, you should try something more stable.” translates to “You’ll never be a professional football player.”
“Most businesses fail, it’s safer to work for someone else.” translates to “You’re not good enough to be the one who owns the business, you need to work for them.”
Regardless of the scenario, we tend to lean toward caution with our kids. Let them think big. It’s ok if they fail. In fact, your home should be a safe place for them to fail — teach them how to fail and how to learn from it.
9. You’re Good at That
It doesn’t matter what “that” is, it only matters that you’re encouraging and complimenting your kids.
If they’re good at something, this will give them the confidence to be great.
Don’t lie to them and tell them they’re good at something if they aren’t, but encourage them in the things they are good at and encourage their effort always.
10. I Trust You
Trust is built. Whether you’re dealing with a 4-year-old or a 44-year-old.
We have to give our kids responsibilities they can handle so we can build our trust in their honesty, yes, but also in their ability. It will help them build their own trust in their own ability.
You don’t want to tell your kids you trust them if you don’t. That’s why you provide the opportunities for them to build trust.
I like the analogy of viewing parenting as an upside funnel. When kids are young, you’re at the narrow part of the funnel. You don’t give them a lot of responsibility/freedom and you don’t expect them to make all the right choices. As they get older, the funnel opens up. If they learned the right lessons at a younger age, they’ll act accordingly and warrant more trust/freedom when they’re older.
Be sure to let them know once they’ve built that trust. A simple “I trust you” goes a long way.
Speak Life Into Your Kids!
The power of life and death really is in the tongue.
Incorporating these daily affirmations into your parenting routine can have a significant impact on your child’s emotional and mental well-being.
It can also strengthen your bond and create a positive and loving environment in your home.
Remember, the most important thing is to be sincere and consistent with your expressions of love and appreciation towards your child.
Further Book Reading
- How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Faber & Mazlish
- What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helstetter
- My Magical Choices (Children’s Book) by Becky Cummings
- I Can Do Hard Things (Children’s Book) by Gabi Garcia