Every child is born with a unique set of gifts, and these gifts are developed through both the child’s own effort, as well as through the loving nurture of his/her parents. As a parent, your role is to guide your children and to help them become the best versions of themselves.
And while your little loving efforts – taking them to baseball practice, enrolling them in ballet class, and helping them practice their lines for their play, etc. – are well appreciated, do not also forget that words themselves have an inherent power to boost confidence.
Actions may speak louder than words, but our children also appreciate kind and gentle encouragement..
Here are 9 things you should say to your kids everyday.
1. Try it!
The world is often a scary and confusing place, especially for your growing child. But you can help boost his confidence by encouraging him to try new things. Whether it’s baseball or making new friends, your child will appreciate your support as he discovers the world on his own.
2. Kaya mo yan! (You can do it!)
It’s easy to be as enthusiastic as your child when he is doing well, however, when he gets discouraged, don’t forget to lend him your support. A simple “You can do it!” can be enough to keep him going. Remind him as well that through hard work, he can achieve anything.
3. Keep up the good work!
Child psychologists say that recognizing is effort is better than praising results. According to research, kids who were praised on their effort grew to be more interested in trying out new things and were more open to challenging tasks compared to children who were praised for their qualities (for example, being smart.)
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4. I like that you’re trying really hard in _______.
This follows the same principle as no. 2. Recognizing your child’s hard work and effort does more to boost their self-confidence than the simple, “You’re smart.”
5. It’s okay. Mistakes happen.
When a child does something wrong and makes a mistake, it’s okay to be disappointed as a parent. But as you discipline your child, don’t make it about fear. Rather, it should be about teaching him what is right and helping him understand why it was wrong.
If you do decide to discipline, always make sure to reassure them. Regardless of their mistakes, you love them.
6. You make me happy/proud because ________.
This simple statement reminds your little one that he has a place in your life, and that he will always be loved. This is also a great way to deliver a compliment. For example, “You make me proud because you’re becoming such a talented chef.”
Whether you’re a child or an adult, everyone loves to know that they’re a source of joy.
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7. I like you just the way you are.
As your child engages more with the world and meets other children, he will learn to observe and compare. And as he tries to make new friends, he will try to make certain changes in order to fit in. It’s all a normal part of life and childhood, but do remind him that he will always be loved just the way he is, especially in your home.
8. It’s your choice.
As your children begin to make decisions on their own, do support their choices. Of course, we’re not talking about big decisions just yet. Start small, such as allowing him to choose the clothes he wants to wear, the books he wants to read, and the games he wants to play. Allow him to think, reason, and decide.
By saying the aforementioned, he gains more confidence in himself, and he will learn to be accountable – especially when it comes to the bigger decisions later one.
9. I love you.
Of course, we say this without end when they’re just babies cooing in the crib. But notice, as our children grow up, we say it less and less. There are many ways to say I love you, and we’ve heard and said them in their different forms – “Put on your seat belt; Here’s your lunch; What do you need? – but nothing beats hearing these three words.
READ: 25 fun questions to ask your kids instead of “how’s your day?”
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