Positive Words and Phrases You Must Use With Your Child

Losing our cool and using harsh words or criticising our children can scar their psyche. Here’s a list of twenty positive phrases to use during everyday conversations with children.

By Arun Sharma

Positive Words and Phrases You Must Use With Your Child

Using inappropriate or negative language comes easily to most of us. However, learning to use positive language to help children grow up into well-balanced individuals takes time. Here is a list of phrases that you should use during your conversations with your child to help her imbibe positive attributes.

1. To develop self-esteem

  • You are important to me.
  • You contribute so much to the family.
  • I appreciate what you did.
  • I believe in you.
  • I enjoy spending my time with you.

2. To render an apology

  • I am sorry.
  • Will you forgive me?
  • Will you accept my apology?
  • I am sorry, I hurt you.

3. To encourage effort

  • You are getting better every day.
  • Keep on trying.
  • You are learning fast.
  • That’s the right way to do it.
  • Keep up the good work.

4. To encourage asking questions

  • You’ve asked a very thoughtful question.
  • My! What made you think of asking that question?
  • Your question shows that you have been listening intently.
  • I don’t think anyone would have thought of coming up with this brilliant question.
  • I admire your desire to learn.

4. To express gratitude

  • Thank you ____ (child’s name).
  • Thank you so much ____ (child’s name).
  • Thank you. I really appreciate your help ____ (child’s name).
  • How can I ever thank you enough!
  • How nice of you to help me out! Thanks a ton!

5. To encourage empathy

  • That was very generous of you!
  • I appreciate how you place others’ needs before yours.
  • I am glad that you are such a kind person!
  • Your thoughtfulness makes you such a wonderful person!
  • I trust that you will always be kind to others.
Positive words and phrases make us feel good and create an instant connection with people. A lot would depend upon the context, nature and purpose of the interaction and the immediate emotional state of the parent and the child. However, there are many opportunities in non-conflict situations where positive responses help to reinforce bonds of attachment with loved ones, and even help build new ones.
However, we must accept that there will always be negative situations and interactions. It’s best to keep them to a minimum, and follow up each of them with a sincere effort to repair any hurt that may have been caused. - Arundhati Swamy, Counsellor and the Head of Parent Engagement Programs at ParentCircle

6. To encourage resilience

  • I am proud of your will power.
  • You shouldn’t allow this to discourage you. One loss doesn’t matter. Continue with your efforts.
  • Your perseverance is your greatest strength.
  • With your determination, you will surely succeed in all your endeavours.
  • You have enormous mental strength.
  • A little progress every day will add up to big results; keep going.

7. To encourage creativity

  • I love your creativity in this work! Simply amazing!
  • Your imagination is awesome!
  • You have such wonderful ideas.
  • Wow! That painting reflects your creativity.
  • Nobody can narrate a story like you do!

8. To encourage communication

  • What do you think about it?
  • If it were you, how would you go about doing it?
  • Tell me about your day.
  • So, tell me what happened?
  • Go on... that’s interesting. Keep talking.
  • Tell me more about it. I’m eager to listen to you.

9. To boost confidence

  • Take it from me… you can do it.
  • You did a great job!
  • You will only get better with time.
  • I know that you will learn from your mistakes.
  • I believe in you.

10. To encourage independence

  • You have to stand up for yourself.
  • I know that you can handle it by yourself.
  • You can ask for my help when you need it.
  • Always trust your instincts.
  • Life is tough; but, so are you!

11. To encourage integrity

  • Your honesty will serve as a role model.
  • I admire your truthfulness.
  • I appreciate your respect for values.
  • With your diligence and sincerity, you will always inspire others.
  • I admire your courage to stand up for your beliefs.

12. To encourage showing respect

  • Thank you for respecting my wishes.
  • I respect your feelings; but, I’m sorry, I can’t agree with you.
  • I appreciate the way you treat everyone with respect.

Children need a lot of love and encouragement to thrive and do well. More than any gift or reward, your affectionate words and gestures can do wonders when it comes to instilling positive beliefs in your child. However, along with expressing your appreciation, also remember to praise only those traits that your child has the power to change.


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