Positive encouragement for your kids doesn’t mean throwing them a parade, yelling loudly from the stands at every game, or even excess praise. It can be a simple, “I love you” and a hug. When you are encouraging your kids, it means giving them words or phrases that can make them feel good, try harder and keep going.
In the day to day, it’s not always easy to come up with those encouraging words and phrases. Having an arsenal of encouraging words can empower you to help your kids. In the busy of life, it’s easy to fall into a negative pattern with your children by chastising or overreacting. Changing the way you talk to your kids can change their lives!
What are words of encouragement for kids?
What does it mean to give your kids words of encouragement? Encouraging words for kids can mean a lot of different things, but they all have one thing in common: they make the child feel good. Encouragement doesn’t have to be something you say every day, or even every week – it can be as simple as patting them on the back and telling them that you’re proud of them.
Positive encouragement is powerful because it can help kids feel better about themselves and their abilities while also motivating them to try harder and continue going when things get tough. It’s important to be encouraging in both good times and bad, as well as across all aspects of life – from academics to athletics to relationships with peers.
Benefits of encouraging words for kids
- Promotes a positive growth mindset – A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed over time, through hard work and dedication. Kids with a growth mindset are more likely to persevere in the face of setbacks and continue trying even when they don’t initially succeed.
- Boosts self-esteem – When kids receive positive reinforcement from their parents, it helps boost their self-esteem and makes them feel good about themselves. This can encourage them to try new things and be more adventurous.
- Encourages kids to keep trying – Resilience is the ability to bounce back after experiencing setbacks or failures. It’s important for kids to learn how to deal with disappointment early on so they can become resilient adults.
- Fosters creativity – Kids who receive positive encouragement from their parents are more likely to be creative and take risks. This is because they feel supported by their parents and know that they won’t be harshly judged for trying new things.
Encouraging words for motivation
Need a few phrases to keep your kids motivated? Try these:
- You got this!
- Try again tomorrow.
- No matter what anyone tells you, anything is possible if you want it bad enough.
- Never let ’em see you sweat.
- Sometimes we fall down the stairs…We just have to get back up and keep going.
- I believe in you!
- You can do it!
- It’s not about winning or losing, it’s how you play the game.
- You are capable of anything you put your mind to.
- Take a minute to rest, and then do it!
- You have worked hard before, you can do it again!
- You are tenacious!
- I love that you keep trying!
- You can outwork anyone…you just have to want it!
- There is no try, only do.
- You are really trying. I’m proud of you.
- Trust yourself.
- Don’t worry. You’ve worked hard and have done all you can.
- You should be proud of yourself.
- I can see that you have improved!
- Good job figuring it out.
- This looks like a good solution.
- Try it first. I’m here to help if it doesn’t work.
- Your hard work is paying off!
- You are doing so great!
- I’m proud of how hard you’re working.
- I love how you decided to do that.
Encouraging words for dealing with difficult things
All of us go through difficult experiences in life. Even our kids. Here are some phrases to help your child through difficult things:
- I’m here to support you.
- You are so strong!
- This is really hard, isn’t it?
- It’s ok to feel angry or sad about this. You can cry if you need to.
- Whatever happens, I will always love you no matter what.
- Hang in there!
- Just keep doing your best that’s all anyone can ask of you 🙂
- This feeling will pass. It won’t last forever.
- It’s okay to feel this way.
- Everyone feels worried, mad, or sad sometimes.
- That isn’t what you wanted to happen, it’s okay to be sad about that.
- Trust yourself.
- What you are feeling is normal.
- No one is perfect. You don’t have to be either.
- You can get through this.
- It’s okay to have fun.
- You are stronger than this!
- Sometimes things feel hard, it’s okay to rest.
- You are tough, and you have people behind you who are tough.
- It’s okay to be happy (or sad) for today.
- Let me worry about it for a little while.
- This sucks, but we can handle it.
- I know this is hard, how can I help?
- You can talk to me about anything.
- Keep trying.
- You are more than this problem.
- You are strong.
- Believe in yourself! I do believe in you!
- You will feel better after you get some rest.
- Not everyone will like you. That’s okay.
- Everyone makes mistakes.
- Look for the good.
Encouraging words of love and self-esteem
Words of love can be some of the most powerful words you can share with your kids. Try these:
- I love you.
- I miss you when we are apart.
- I think about you and pray for you every day.
- I love your laugh.
- I believe in you.
- You are special and unique.
- You make me laugh.
- I love spending time with you.
- You are so funny.
- I love you, no matter what.
- You are fun to be around.
- You are good at making friends.
- You have the best smile.
- You are so thoughtful.
- Your brain is amazing. You are so intelligent.
- I am proud of you.
- Thank you for being you.
- You are kind.
- You are capable.
- I love being your mom.
- I am the luckiest mom in the world.
- I really want to hear what you want to say.
- I love how thoughtful you are.
- You can tell me anything.
- I am so proud of the person you are becoming.
- I am glad you are here.
- I would love for you to show me.
- You are so thoughtful.
- You are a beautiful person.
- I am grateful for you.
- I can’t wait to see what you’ll do.
- You are amazing!
- You are enough.
- Follow your heart.
Encouraging words for behavior
- You have a kind heart.
- Thank you for showing me you are listening.
- I’m proud of you for taking the time to think about someone else.
- That was very generous of you.
- You are a good friend.
- Thank you for being brave when it’s hard to be brave.
- You handled that situation really well.
- Thank you for using your words to tell me how you feel.
- Your honesty makes me proud.
- That was very kind.
Tips for using encouraging words for kids:
Knowing how and when to use encouraging words on your kids can be a challenge. But with a little practice, you’ll be able to help your kids feel better, try harder, and keep going.
Here are some tips for using encouraging words:
Write down encouraging words child:
If you need, keep a small journal of the words that work for your child. That way when you are struggling to find something to say, you can remember some of your favorites. Don’t be afraid to use the same phrases over again. If something works, keep using it! Kids love familiarity and repetition.
Make it easy on yourself with this pre-made box of encouraging cards for kids. I love that there is a spot for your own words, as well as a fun thought.
Keep encouraging words short and sweet:
Kids don’t need long speeches, they need quick phrases that will make them feel seen and heard. Even better if it’s something they can memorize for themselves.
Be mindful of your tone:
Your voice is just as important as the words you are saying. Make sure to sound positive and happy when giving encouragement.
Praise effort over ability:
As parents it’s natural to want to tell your child phrases such as,
“You are so smart!”
“You are the best dancer!”
Although you may be tempted to tell your child that they are the best, it’s better to praise effort over talent and ability. You want them to feel as if they can keep trying and working to achieve what they want. Instead, try the following:
“You studied so hard for that test, you deserve that A!”
“I can see how much effort you’ve put into your dance routine. Great work!”
Instead of saying, “I love your picture!” Try giving specific praise such as, “I love the way you used bright colors to paint the sky.” This will make your child feel as if their efforts are being noticed and appreciated.
Give genuine compliments:
Compliments that come from a place of sincerity can do wonders for a child’s self-esteem. Phrases such as “You have such beautiful eyes,” or “I love the way you always try your best,” can help boost your child’s confidence. But if you don’t mean them, your kids will know. Kids are smart. They can pick out a fake compliment from mile away, so don’t say anything you don’t mean!
Watch for body language:
Sometimes kids might not be able to find the words to express how they’re feeling. In these cases, watch for changes in their body language that might give you a clue about what’s going on inside. If they’re fidgeting or seem uncomfortable, it might mean they need some encouraging words.
Keep it positive:
You want your encouraging words to motivate and inspire, so make sure you’re being encouraging rather than critical or judgmental when giving feedback. For example, instead of saying “that wasn’t quite it,” try a phrase such as “let’s keep practicing until we get it right.” This way the focus is on moving forward rather than dwelling on mistakes from the past.
Remember that encouraging words take time! You may not be able to change how your child feels in just one conversation—it takes repetition over an extended period of time for these messages to really sink in. However, don’t give up hope because encouraging words can have a lasting impact if they are said with sincerity.
While encouraging words can make a huge difference and boost your child’s confidence, you want to avoid overpraising. If you use encouraging words too often or give them out indiscriminately, they won’t have as much of an impact. Kids need time to process their feelings—they don’t like being showered with praise all the time!
Remember that everyone feels insecure:
Kids (and adults) feel insecure at times because we are all products of our environment and experiences — no one is 100% invincible from feeling bad about themselves every now and then. Encouraging words can be especially helpful when it comes to helping kids realize this fact.
Comparing your child to others can make them feel insecure and inadequate. Each person is unique in their own way, so comparisons will only serve to undermine your child’s self-confidence.
Encouraging words work best when they are paired with validation of the child’s feelings. For example, if a child says they’re sad, don’t try to talk them out of it or tell them they shouldn’t be feeling that way. Just let them know that it’s okay to feel sad and that you’re there for them.
When kids feel like they’re being heard and understood, it does wonders for their emotional state. Make sure you take the time to listen attentively—this will show your child that you care about them and their feelings.
Don’t make encouraging words conditional:
If you only give your child praise when they’ve done something “right”, it sends the message that their worth is based on their achievements. Instead, try to be encouraging no matter what the circumstances are. This will help them develop a healthy sense of self-worth that isn’t reliant on external factors.
Want more ways to encourage your child? Read: 24 Free Printable Lunchbox Notes for Kids
Encouraging words can make a real difference in kids’ lives, so make sure you’re using them as often as possible! They can help kids feel better about themselves, try harder, and keep going even when things get tough. So don’t hesitate to give your child a few encouraging words today!