There’s a saying that the days are long but the years are short, and if you’re a parent, you know exactly what that means. Our kids grow up faster than we ever really want them to, and none of us want to squander the precious time we have with them while they’re little. We all know our words have a profound impact on those around us, especially our children. So why not make them count, by telling your kids some of the following things every day?
1. I Love You.
I don’t know a single person on the earth, much less a child who doesn’t want to hear the sweet words, “I Love You” as often as possible. Every child wants to feel loved, cared for and secure, especially from their parents. You can never say I Love You enough!
2. It’s Ok To Make Mistakes.
Just today I was sitting in my MOPS group and we were discussing overcoming perfectionism. Striving for perfection is both unhealthy and unsatisfying, since you can never achieve it. An important lesson we can teach our kids everyday is to show them that we aren’t perfect, and that it’s OK to make mistakes.
3. I Know You Can Do It.
Our kids learn new things on a daily basis, and often they do it with hesitance or fear (both of which are OK, by the way!). Telling your children you know they can do something will give them the confidence to try and the comfort of knowing you believe in them.
4. I Like It When You…
Adults lead busy lives and it’s easy to see how kids can think we don’t notice them at times. When you point out things using specifics, it will give them the understanding that you see them and acknowledge them. It doesn’t take much time to tell them you “like it when you say please” or “when you play so nicely with your sister.” Everyone loves recognition!
5. I Forgive You.
Most kids know when they’re in trouble and are fearful of the consequences. Timeouts and getting toys taken away pale in comparison to the thought of their parent not loving or forgiving them. And sometimes we as parents are quick to discipline and express our disappointment, while forgetting to go back and tell our kids we forgive them. It’s an important step to teaching our kids how to forgive, but also to show how much we love them.
6. I’m Listening To You.
How many times does your child need to say “mommy” before you finally answer? Even though you can’t possibly listen to them every moment of every day, it doesn’t hurt to get on their level and tell them you are listening just a few times each day. They will feel confident, special and listened to.
7. I’m Sorry.
I’m pretty sure you don’t make it through a day without making a mistake, and probably one or two of them directed at your child. Moms need to say I’m sorry too, so suck it up and show your kids that it’s ok to apologize.
8. I’m Proud Of You
In this day and age of “experts” telling you never to tell your kids they did a good job or telling them they are special, it’s hard to know what’s “ok” to say anymore. In my book, you can never damage your child from pointing out the good in them, and telling them it makes you proud. It only takes a few seconds to acknowledge good behavior, and that’s never a bad thing.