Being a parent is not easy – that’s undebatable. But, we don’t often consider how tough it is to be a kid. Being young and having to figure out an entire world is a daunting task. With all of their quirks and particularities, children are pretty much just doing the best they can in a society they are just learning about.
Yes, sometimes kids are entirely frustrating. But their frustrations largely stem from the fact that they don’t really understand why things work the way they do. They look to us for answers and reasons, but also for encouragement and guidance. And, when you think of it like that, it’s much easier to respond to that millionth question in a positive way (though let’s face it, frustration gets the best of us all at some point).
Keep these positive affirmations in your parenting tool bag for a simple way to let your kids know that you think they are truly as amazing as they are.
1. I Am So Proud Of You
Simple yes, but it means so much to your little one’s ears and heart. They need to know that regardless of whether you’re dealing with tears or tantrums or laughs or cuddles, you’ve got their back.
2. You Are So Thoughtful
This is what I tell my boys even after the smallest of kind gestures — if they keep hearing how kind and considerate and compassionate they are, I know they’ll grow to be even more mindful of their actions and how they can affect others.
3. You Have Great Ideas
Remember when you were a kid and you came up with those nutty ideas that really had no foundation in reality? How did the people around you respond? One of the best things about children is that their imaginations have no limits, and that’s really a skill you want to encourage.
4. You Did It
This is a tried and true affirmation — just like we like to know we did something on our own, so do our children. Reminding them that they are able to accomplish tasks on their own will build their confidence and make them more likely to try things on their own in the future.
5. It’s Okay To Make Mistakes
Sometimes kids (like adults) can develop a complex over making mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable for everyone, but what kids really need to know is that mistakes can be invaluable tools in our growth and learning process. They need an environment where it’s safe to mess up in order to continue to learn.
6. Practice Makes You Better
The credit goes to my husband on this one. When our oldest started really developing his interest in sports, he always heard a chorus of “practice makes perfect!” from well-meaning relatives and friends. We realized pretty quickly that this wasn’t the mantra we wanted to surround him with. Perfection is a terrible thing to chase, and everyone can’t be good at everything. But, if you practice something you love and improve even a little, well, that’s worth celebrating.
7. You Are Important
Our kids are growing up in an era where it’s easy to feel unimportant — if you’re a regular person amidst all of the reality TV and social media stars, it’s easy to feel lost. As they grow, they’ll need to continually hear that they are important in order to remember it’s so.
8. I Believe In You/I Know You Can Do It
To squash fear and worry, especially in children who are anxious, a reassuring boost of encouragement can go a long way.
9. I Love The Way You Did That
Kids certainly come up with interesting ways to solve their own problems. And, even if you would have maybe done something differently, their creative thinking definitely deserves a cheer.
10. You Tried So Hard
The outcome rarely matters as much as the effort put in, but it’s easy for kids to rely on the final product to measure their successes and failures. Acknowledging their efforts will help them feel good about their process.
12. You Make Me Happy
Even parents have bad days and children sometimes internalize bad moods or overwhelming frustration as their fault. This simple affirmation is a daily must.
13. That’s A Great Question
Kids have A. Lot. Of questions. They want to know how every little thing works and why everything is the way it is. Answering questions endlessly can certainly get a bit draining, but all of those questions stem from genuine curiosity and a deep interest in the things around them.
14. I Love You
This one goes without saying, but sometimes in the rush of the day, it’s one that gets forgotten.
15. Even When We Don’t Agree, I Always Love You
Arguments and frustration are a part of a parent/child relationship, but those things don’t affect the love that you have for your child. Telling them so is important, especially for young children who often take frustration personally.
16. Stay Curious
Curiosity is the foundation of a lot of great skills, like critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Kids are naturally curious, and encouraging that trait in them sets them up to be independent thinkers in adulthood.