As a child is developing, they learn by taking in everything around them – including (and potentially, most importantly) the things that they hear.
If a kid is told negative things about themselves, it is more likely that they will come to view themselves (and the world around them) negatively. Equally, if a child is told positive things about themselves, there is a good chance that they will feel confident and empowered, and have a positive outlook on life.
This is because a child can only learn from their environment. At the start of our lives, we are all blank canvases. These canvases don’t stay blank – the caregiver has an impact on what the final product is; you could say that they provide the paint.
If you provide your canvas with vibrant, happy colors, the final result is more likely to be a vibrant, happy picture.
In this way, the things that you say to your children have the power to completely shape their view of themselves. This means that saying positive things to your kid is really important to their development of self-esteem, mental health, and confidence.
The things that you say to your children now will affect the person that they grow to become just as much as they will now.
There is more than enough proof out there to support the fact that surrounding your child with warmth and love has an impact on their development and mental well-being. How can your children believe in themselves without being sure that you believe in them first?
Sometimes, it’s hard to know how to communicate these things in a way that your child will be able to receive them. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 101 different phrases that you can use to positively encourage your kids!
By using these types of phrases with your children, you’ll be certain to help them grow into happier, more confident, and more compassionate people later on in life.
101 Words And Phrases To Encourage Kids
We’ve tried our best to split these positive phrases into categories. This way you should be able to better identify situations that you can use positive, encouraging and empowering phrases to lift your child up in the future!
Positive, Loving Phrases That You Can Use To Encourage And Empower Your Children And Show Them That You Care
It’s always good to let your children know that you love them. Surrounding them with positivity will help them to spread positivity, both at home and in other areas of life.
By showing your child that you appreciate them, you can build their self-esteem, as well as help to build their self-worth, meaning that they will be in a better position to choose healthy relationships in life.
This can be done in many ways, so we’ve included a few phrases below that can help you to express how much you appreciate your kid, in a way that will encourage and empower them!
- I love you
- I really believe in you
- You matter
- You are special
- You’re my world
- I’m always here for you
- Your decisions are important
- You’re talented!
- You’re so clever
- I’ll always love you
- You’re so caring
- It makes me happy when you laugh
- I love the person you are
- You can talk to me about absolutely anything
- How are you today?
- You’re so generous
- Spending time with you is so much fun!
- You can do anything that you set your mind to
- You make me proud every day
- I love your smile!
- Talk to me about how your day has been
- I love how honest you are
- Always be kind
- Do what your heart says
- You’re so important to me
- My life is so much better with you here!
- I’m so happy I have you in my life
- I’m here for you no matter what
- You can always count on me
- I love playing with you!
- Can we play together?
Positive Phrases Of Encouragement To Help Children Before And After They Attempt Something Difficult
We all need a pep talk sometimes. Kids can find doing things that seem scary especially hard, and it’s important to let them know that you understand the situation and that they are capable of anything that they put their mind to.
By using inspirational phrasing, as well as letting them know that trying is more important than winning, you can help them to view challenges as opportunities, allowing them to build a positive outlook on life.
Here are some examples!
- Never, ever give up
- You can only do your best
- I love how determined you are
- Always keep going!
- You’ll be so happy you did it when you’re finished
- Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help
- Believe in yourself and I know you can do it
- Aim for the top
- Don’t ever be afraid to try again
- Don’t worry, we can try again later!
- It’s okay, we can learn from this.
- Mistakes are opportunities
- It’s better to try and fail than not try at all
- Winning is not important
- You’re capable of anything
- Take a breather, we’ll try again in a second
- It’s better to find some things hard in life than to find everything easy – otherwise, we’d never get to learn!
- Nothing can stop you in life
- Shoot for the stars!
- Practice makes perfect!
- You can’t do everything on the first try – and that’s okay!
Positive Phrases That You Can Help With Children That Are Worried, Scared, Or Suffer From Anxiety
If your child suffers from anxiety or finds themselves apprehensive about a situation, make sure that you don’t come across as dismissive of their problems. Allow them to feel heard, and then let them know that everything will be okay and that they can do anything that they set their mind to.
- You’ll feel better soon. I promise
- Don’t worry, it won’t feel like this forever
- It’s okay to be upset and angry. It’s okay to feel things.
- Always trust your gut.
- Hey, it’s okay that you’re upset. I get upset sometimes too.
- Do you want to talk about it?
- I’m here if you’d like to talk about it.
- I love you so, so much. Always remember that.
- It’s natural to feel like this sometimes. Sometimes, some things can just make us feel sad (/angry).
- How can I make you feel more secure?
- What’s worrying you?
- You know what? We don’t need to let this ruin our day.
- You can do this!
- It’s okay to be scared sometimes.
- Positive phrases that you can use with children to help them through a difficult time
We all go through rough patches, and this can happen to children too. Times like this are difficult for adults, let alone children, so it is important to help them through this with the most caring, understanding vocabulary that you can.
Give them some uplifting, positive language, and make sure that they know that you are there for them and they’ll come out on the other side.
- You can do this.
- You’re so strong.
- I know that things are going to get better.
- After the rain, comes the rainbow.
- I know that you’ll get to the other side of this.
- Take a second to breathe. I promise everything is going to be okay.
- I know that you’ve got this.
- You can’t please everyone
- You’ve got such a good heart.
- You’re so beautiful. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.
- It’ll all feel so much different in the morning.
- Always try to help people, especially if they need it.
- If you get knocked down, get up twice as strong.
- Believe in yourself
- Not all days can be good days. But that means that they can’t all be bad days either!
- Prove them wrong!
- Tomorrow’s a new day.
- Honesty is always the best policy.
Positive Phrases That You Can Use With Children To Help Build Their Confidence (And Self-Esteem)
It’s so important to encourage your child to think positively about themselves and let them know what their strengths are. Having good self-esteem is integral to a healthy mindset, which is where positive phrases like the ones below can come in handy.
- Woah, that’s so clever!
- Hey, you’re a little genius!
- I can tell that you worked really hard today.
- Thank you for always trying so hard!
- No one can be you better than you!
- Healthy boundaries are important.
- You’re doing such a good job!
- What would you like to do?
- How do you think we should do this?
- Your thoughts matter!
- You’re so great at helping.
- Thank you for being so caring!
- You’ve got such a great personality.
- You’re doing so well!
- Don’t be afraid to be yourself!
- You’re learning so fast!
- I really appreciate you.
How Using Positive Phrases Can Be Beneficial For You And Your Children
There’s a difference between demanding respect and earning it.
In order to encourage your children to set healthy boundaries in life, it does well to show them that you appreciate them, and the time and effort that they might put into trying hard in life.
Would you rather have a child that wanted to help you with household chores, because it’s a nice thing to do that makes you happy or a child that begrudgingly did everything that you ordered them to do?
Through the use of positive phrases of encouragement, your child will model themselves on the way that you treat them.
To put it more clearly, if you treat them with love and respect, they are able to learn how this feels and what this looks like, and they are more likely to demonstrate these things themselves.
It’s actually really easy to incorporate these small words of encouragement into their every day. You could say things like, “I really appreciate that you dry the dishes after a wash them, thank you for helping me”, instead of sternly telling them to “dry the dishes, now.”
Whilst it is fair to expect your child to help with household chores, you can involve them in these things in a way that makes them feel appreciated and helpful, instead of making them feel forced.
By taking opportunities like this to demonstrate that you appreciate them and make them feel loved, you are also encouraging them to repeat this action again in the future.
Studies have shown that the way that you interact with your children in moments of praise can have a massive impact on their motivation and self-esteem later on in life.
The impact positive phrases can have on children
Encouraging, positive phrases can help your child to develop a healthy, positive outlook on life. These types of phrases help them to see their home as a safe place, and their caregivers as guardians, teachers, and protectors.
Not only this, but they can help your child to build a strong sense of self, as well as a good self-image, as they can directly have an impact on your child’s self-esteem.
By saying encouraging things, your child will want to put that extra effort in to try harder, instead of doing the bare minimum to stay out of trouble. This means that they are more likely to carry this attitude throughout their life, in different situations that they may encounter.
Saying these types of phrases to your children regularly will give them the confidence to imagine and be creative, as well as to believe in themselves more. This will result in a much more resilient, determined, happy, and confident child.
Not only this, but the way you speak to your child will directly affect the way that they speak to other people! By using kind words and phrases around your children you will increase the likelihood of them expressing their feelings towards others in a similar manner.
The Best Way To Use Positive Phrases With Children
Try to be specific about what it is that you are commenting on. Instead of saying “Well done”, give them a clear indication of what it is that you are pleased with.
For example, “I noticed how well behaved you were at the grocery store today, You held my hand the entire time”, or “that was a really sweet thing to say to your sister. That was very nice of you,”
This is important, as simply telling your child that they’ve done a good job doesn’t help them to understand the specific behavior that you may be commenting on.
Without being specific, they may not necessarily understand how they succeeded, to begin with, and they may not know which behavior to carry on in the future.
Talk About The Effort That They Put In, Instead Of How Well They Did It
When you focus on the amount of effort a child put into something, you encourage them to keep putting effort in. If you talk about how well they did something, it will encourage them to view the world in terms of winning and losing. This may discourage them from trying again in the future, for fear of not succeeding.
If you focus on the effort that they have put into something, however, they are given the opportunity to leave these situations proud of trying, which can give them the drive to try even harder next time, instead of being discouraged or disappointed in themselves.
Don’t Shower Them In Unnecessary Praise
Whilst it is extremely important to make sure that you regularly use positive phrases with your children, you should make sure that you don’t give them undeserved praise, as this may cause them problems later on in life.
This is because children that receive undeserved praise may come to expect it in other areas later on in life. This may lead to some unwanted behaviors.
This also lessens the credibility of the praise that you give your child. It may mean that they find that trying hard warrants them the same amount of praise that they receive when they do try hard. This can lessen their motivation and may lead them to believe that they don’t receive praise in areas that they actually do.
Contrastingly, giving your child praise when they have earned it will most likely motivate them to repeat these behaviors in order to receive that praise again.
Use Their Name
By using your child’s name when giving them praise, you get their attention. It also helps them to see that you are focusing on them and giving their efforts the attention that they deserve.
Let Them Speak
Try not to speak over your child. This teaches them the value of taking turns in a conversation, and it shows them that you genuinely care about what they have to say.
Look Them In The Eye
When giving your child positively reinforcing phrases, make sure to look them in the eye. This teaches them the value of active listening and allows them to realize that you are paying attention and are focusing directly on them.
It also prevents them from getting distracted, as keeping eye contact can help to keep a child present and engaged.
Meet Them At Their Level
Try not to tower over your child when you are interacting with them. By lowering yourself to the same height as them, they can feel like they have more of a chance to speak, making interactions more comfortable for them.
Towering over a child can be intimidating for them, whereas coming down to their level will help them to feel more comfortable, and like you are considering them.
Always Be Honest
Being honest with your children is so important – they base their view of the world on the things that you say, so misleading them can be very confusing and disorientating for them, perhaps making them feel betrayed.
Kids are intelligent – they pay attention to their surroundings as they are always learning, and they can be very good at picking up on lies.
Show your child that they can trust you by always telling them the truth – this will make them more likely to tell you the truth in the future, as having respect for them will encourage respect for you!
Ways To Incorporate Positive Phrases Into Your Child’s Life
You don’t have to wait for the perfect situation to use an encouraging phrase with your child, you can work these into your everyday activities!
We’ve included a few examples of how you can do this below.
You don’t need a reason to be positive with your child! At any moment, you can express your appreciation or love for them!
By randomly telling your child something like “you know, I think you’re SO clever,” you allow them to know that you are always thinking about them, and this is the image that you have of them as a person. Acts like these can really help to build self-esteem.
Slip a nice little note into their lunchbox, giving them an inspirational quote or a nice thought to help give them a bit of encouragement unexpectedly halfway through their day. Just because you can’t be there in person, doesn’t mean that you cannot be there in spirit!
This is a good tip for all children but can be especially good for kids that struggle with sleep anxiety or nightmares.
Choose a different positive phrase to say to your children each night before bed. This can help to put a smile on their faces, as well as give them the energy that they need to wake up the next morning with a positive attitude.
If you and your child have had a falling out, you might choose to take this opportunity as a time to tell them something positive. This shows them that anger doesn’t have to last forever and that you will always love them, no matter what.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Is Positive Phrasing So Important?
Using positive phrasing around your children will help them to build up a healthy self-image, as well as provide them with the confidence to thrive in life.
Using this type of language with your child also allows you the opportunity to model compassion. This helps your child to learn how to conduct themselves when somebody else is feeling sad, or disheartened. It also allows them to express appreciation to you and others in the future.
Do I Need A Reason To Use Positive Phrasing With My Child?
No, you don’t! It’s always nice to hear that someone is thinking about us, and expressing love and appreciation for your child when they least expect it will help them to understand that your love for them is unconditional.
My Child Suffers From Anxiety. How Can Positive Phrases Help?
Using positive, encouraging language can help your child to realize that you’re there for them and that they can talk to you about anything. Language like this allows them to feel like you have listened to their concerns, and it helps to instill trust that you can help them through it.
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