Nobody is perfect. For me, parenting is mostly about figuring it out instead of knowing it or nailing it. I had no clue about being a dad, I screwed my first chance. For the past 10 years, I was learning how not to fail. Today I would like to share with you a few things your child should hear from a parent. It will help.
You should be proud of yourself.
Simple but important. Our children always look up to us, we are the most important people on earth. Sometimes we forgetting about it, but we shouldn’t. Children want to impress us, be the best, they are craving our attention, our wise words. Saying – I’m proud of you is not the same as You Should Be Proud Of Yourself as – I’m proud of you – suggesting that you are not proud of your child all the time – which is not true- right? Your child shouldn’t think or feel another way. Whatever they achieve, whatever they do – you are proud. Let your child know that they need to be proud of themselves – to build this in them. Children shouldn’t do things, thinking that it will make you proud of them.
You are important as well.
Our children should know that they are as important as adults. On every level, physically, emotionally. If we want our children to feel and believe in it, we need to practice it. Ask your child about their day, their opinion, feelings, let them know that you care and your child’s views and choicer are important.
Thank You. I’m sorry. Please.
I don’t think that can be any easier than that. If you wish to see these words used by your children, lead by example and live by it. Right?
I love you
Powerful and simple. I tell my kids every day that I love them. Few times a day, sometimes in the middle of dinner, without occasion. Now, my kids can also shout out to me from the other room in the middle of they play or while watching something – Dad? I love you. This is just priceless.
Would you like to talk about it?
Sometimes our children need time and space to think. When things getting little too much, our children experience emotional thunder. It’s good for us to give them some space and later ask if they would like to talk about it. When emotions are high it is best to ask your child to come back to the conversations.
I know you feel not ok (angry, sad, disappointed), but it’s ok to feel this way.
We should always encouraged our children to express their emotions. All of them. We should not judge but acknowledge and talk about feelings. With daughters and sons too, leaving old stereotypes behind us. It’s important.
I hear you and it matters to me.
We tend to treat our children’s words as adorable or cute. It’s important to show them that we can hear what they are saying to us, both small and important stuff, this way we are really taking it in. Discussions or acts which can confirm that we can hear them and be trusted.
We all made mistakes – me too, and I made many in my life.
Nobody is perfect. For our children, parent’s are like superheroes with no flows. This is very powerful and showing our children that we are no perfect should be mandatory, with no harm to them obviously. I often show my kids that I am just a human. They know my flaws pretty well. I can’t read instruction manuals, I can’t deal with puzzles and I have no patience for boring movies. I’m full of flaws, my life is just a mountain of flaws and I feel good about it. They know that. Without it, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
I trust you.
With age, we talk and talk less about trust. Let’s build this important quality. We don’t use this word often in life, we think about trust but it’s important to talk about trust and trusting each other and others.
You are amazing.
Praise your child, today’s world is pretty competitive but praise should come with each day. Our children are amazing and we should let them know that. This will build very positive self-esteem and self-worth. We all should be telling this to ourselves. You too, you are amazing.
You worked really hard.
Children are always trying their best. So acknowledge it, recognise it and appreciate it. This will boost their confidence and will help them to overcome difficulties without our help. Each of us got different qualities and not everyone is good at everything – effort must be recognisable too.
How did you manage to accomplish this? Well done.
Being curious makes children better in problem-solving. Let them know that you are interested in their journey, encourage them to share their success and also their failures to be able to think about each step on the way.
It’s ok to be different/ to like different things.
Diversity is natural. We are all different and we live in amazing times where diversity is celebrated. Children don’t see race, disability, gender – children learn from us and if we are dividing our world around us, they will do the same. Those are no racist children or teens. Racism and homophobia are learned and passed by parents.
How do you feel about it?
Explore emotions with your child, but remember that your child needs to feel comfortable in sharing it with you. Talk about it, explore, show that emotions are very important and we could share those with others.
I really love the way you talk about this.
Praise commitment and encourage children to be all in if they love something. We need to show that we are happy for them, to have passions, to be into something, to explore. Love and passion taste better shared.
I’m glad to be here with you.
Sometimes we don’t have to do huge things, sometimes being around and be present is enough. I love to sit with my kids, talk about stuff, they are telling me stories and I pay attention to all detail of the conversation. A wee walk, wee talk, sitting on the bench and watching birds. I’m glad to be with you here.
I respect your choice, do you know the consequences of your decision?
Talking about choices and owning them. This is also important, some decisions in life are not easy, but with our support, our children can be resilient and responsible for their own decisions and understand cause and effect rules.
Do you have any idea how we could make it better?
Let’s encourage our children to explore, to make things better, to discover other possible options to look for new ways. Sometimes finding new way instead the old solution can be groundbreaking. Encourage your child with these words to reach further and to approach things from different angles.
Try to put yourself in his/her shoes. How would you feel in this situation?
Let’s show our children compassion. Instead of empathy, which is also important – compassion is more constructive and giving us a wider angle on things. This also will allow your child to see you, thinking about others and helping others in their difficulties.
I’m always here for you.
Always. When your child needs you, be there. It’s ok to be busy, it’s ok to say- “I’m here for you, give me a minute or two to finish what I’m doing”, but remember you can’t do it all the time. Life is short, children are growing up so quickly and they will remember when you didn’t have time for them. Later, they will not have time for you. Don’t do it, let them know that you are always here for them.
It’s simple but as parents, very often we are not thinking about it. We get caught up with everyday life. I hope this list will give you a bit of a stop-think moment. We’re all trying our best, as parents. We do. You’re doing it right. Trust me.