March 8 2016

66 Positive Things to Say To Your Child

Back a few years ago, I read this article on Huffington Post about the 6 simple words you should say to your child: “I love to watch you play.” I can’t remember my own parents ever saying that to me and upon reading the article I realized that it would have meant a lot to hear it. Why? Because as the article describes, it takes the pressure off a kid, it lets them enjoy their competitive sport or their play time. It’s a way to show that you love your child, that you’re not distracted by something, that you’re in the present moment and that he or she has your full and complete attention.

On Mondays, Parker goes to gym class and Sam and I watch him from the sidelines, usually with our phones out. While I’m catching up on the news, Sam’s looking over Reddit and every so often we’ll glance up at Parker to make sure he’s ok. In the beginning I thought this was fine but soon Parker started shouting out to us, “Mom and Dad, get off your phones and watch me!” Of course I was mortified but I was also proud of him for speaking up. I had no idea that it means so much to him that his parents watch him play.

This morning, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I noticed a list that a friend posted (see above). It shows 66 positive things you can say to your child. Like everyone, I scanned it quickly for what I have said and then I paused at the sayings I hope to incorporate more with my children.

Here’s what I regularly say:
#9. You are loved.
#5: I love being your parent.
#22: You make me happy.
#44: Thank you for being you.

Here’s what I want to say:
#7: Your opinions matter.
#19: We can try your way.
#30: I love seeing the world your way.
#31: It’s good to be curious.
#49: That was really brave.
#57: I love how you said that.

Sam and I tell Parker and Logan that we love them countless times a day but I want to go beyond that. I want to instill in them a sense of confidence, I want them to know that it’s ok to speak up, and, most importantly, I want them to know that they don’t need to earn our love, that from day one, they already had it, and that they’ll continue to have it for eternity.

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