44 positive & motivating phrases to say to your child

Remember the old saying, sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me? Well, that was always confusing to me as a child. I understood the first part, sure, with a little force, sticks and stones could break my bones but the bit about words never hurting me? Nah, words always hurt me-the bad ones anyway. The bad words stung and stuck with me for a little while.

My point is, words matter. They make a difference and have the power to build us up or tear us down, to bring happiness or sadness into our lives. Their meaning defines perception that shape our beliefs, mould our behaviours and ultimately create how we perceive the world and our place in it.

Particularly so for children. Their young minds thrive in a positive environment and the power of just a few constructive and optimistic words can really encourage a child to persevere and create an ‘I-can’ attitude. During lockdown, as a parent to two young children and subsequent homeschooling, I saw firsthand how much of a positive impact the following motivating phrases had:

  1. I’m so lucky to be your parent
  2. Being your parent is the best job in the world
  3. I love teaching you things and I love learning things from you
  4. You have such a beautiful heart
  5. You can go anywhere in the world with your imagination
  6. Don’t compare yourself to other people, someone as unique as you is beyond compare
  7. No one else in this world has the same imagination as you
  8. Your name is the most precious thing you own- it’s who you are
  9. There is only one you in the world
  10. We all make mistakes, mistakes should be celebrated because we learn from them
  11. It’s okay to have a bad day. We have bad days so we know what the good ones look like
  12. You are the greatest gift anyone could ever ask for
  13. I’m so proud to be your mum
  14. You are the strongest kid I know
  15. You can tell me anything, I’ll always be here
  16. I trust you, I just don’t trust others
  17. You’re not on your own with a problem, we can figure it out together
  18. I’ll always be on your team
  19. All I ask is that you try your absolute best
  20. You can be anything you want to be
  21. I can see you’re really trying
  22. I make mistakes even at my age
  23. Apologising is saying the right thing after saying or doing the wrong thing
  24. A good attitude can make all the difference
  25. I love you more than all the blades of grass on the land, more than every drop of water in the ocean, more than all the grains of sand on the beach, and all the stars in the sky
  26. Don’t change who you are for anyone. If they don’t like you for you, that’s their loss
  27. Not everyone has the same heart as you so don’t be disappointed if you don’t get treated in the same way you treat someone
  28. If someone tells you can’t do something, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it. 
  29. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help
  30. Mistakes are proof you’ve tried
  31. I believe in you
  32. You are so incredibly precious
  33. You are so loved
  34. Trust your instincts
  35. Be a shepherd, not a sheep
  36. It’s good to have emotions, but don’t let them take over you
  37. You make my heart sing with the love I have for you
  38. Don’t give up easily, nothing worth having comes easy
  39. I love hearing how passionate you are about something
  40. If anyone is horrible to you, don’t get mad, don’t get even, don’t stoop to their level. Rise above it
  41. Thanks for making today so special
  42. Always be grateful for what you have, not grumpy for what you want
  43. Practice makes progress. 
  44. Spending time with you is the best part of my day

Personally speaking, I find that focusing on my children’s strengths and qualities has the real potential to boost their self-esteem, mood, and how they feel about themselves and their place in the world. Author Karen Salmansohn summed it up beautifully and brilliantly when she said: “True happiness isn’t about the things you have; it’s about the thoughts you have. That’s why it’s called positive thinking and not positive thing-ing.”

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