What words qualify as positive when directed towards a child? Obviously, words that are encouraging, supportive, and heartfelt are part of the equation, as are statements that instill a sense of determination, individualism, and self-esteem.

It is also important to keep in mind that what a parent doesn’t say is almost as important as what they do say. Words that are perceived as domineering, mindless, or authoritarian only serve to distance the child. At the other end of the spectrum is the parent who heaps unabashed (undeserved?) flattery onto their child, something that is both counterproductive and potentially damaging.

It is the opinion of experts that positive words to a child take on more meaning when they have the following characteristics:

  • Saying the child’s name first, as this gets their attention!
  • Speaking at the right volume and not speaking “over” the child.
  • Using regular eye contact.

With this in mind, here are 100 (!) positive things to say to your child:

  1. You are cared for and loved.
  2. I will always be here when you need me.
  3. I’m grateful for you.
  4. You are important.
  5. Your words matter to me.
  6. You should be so proud of yourself.
  7. I know you will do great things.
  8. Follow your heart.
  9. The world needs you.
  10. Always be kind, no matter what.
  11. Always try hard.
  12. Don’t give up.
  13. You are enough.
  14. You are beautiful inside and out.
  15. Always help those who need it.
  16. Everything good and positive comes back.
  17. You are doing so good!
  18. What you say matters.
  19. You can always try again.
  20. It’s just a mistake, and that means you can learn from it.
  21. Be respectful.
  22. That is really brave!
  23. Always say “Please” and “Thank you.”
  24. It’s okay to feel sad.
  25. Do something kind everyday.
  26. I feel that way sometimes too.
  27. I’ll always love you.
  28. I’ll stop what I’m doing if you need me.
  29. Pay attention when someone else is talking.
  30. There’s something to learn in everything.
  31. I admire that.
  32. You are awesome!
  33. Always try to be curious.
  34. What you’re feeling is normal.
  35. Work towards solving problems.

 “Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.” – Robin Sharma

  1. Don’t think too much.
  2. Go play!
  3. Have fun!
  4. Make a difference today.
  5. I love your creativity.
  6. Let’s try it your way.
  7. You make me so happy.
  8. Give me a hug.
  9. Give me a kiss.
  10. Being with you is fun!
  11. Tell me all about it.
  12. I love how you tell stories.
  13. I appreciate your honesty.
  14. Reading is a powerful thing.
  15. It’s okay to say no.
  16. I’ll always try to understand.
  17. Tell me about your day.
  18. What are you learning in school?
  19. You look so nice today!
  20. You make my life better.
  21. Just be yourself.
  22. Don’t be afraid.
  23. Time will pass and you’ll feel better.
  24. Enjoy the moment.
  25. Learning is so powerful.
  26. Love everyone.
  27. Our family is better with you.
  28. You have so much to offer.
  29. Believe in yourself and your abilities.
  30. You are a good boy/girl.
  31. You are important to me.
  32. Always be truthful.

“Be mindful when it comes to your words. A string of some that don’t mean much to you, may stick with someone else for a lifetime.” – Rachel Wolchin

  1. It’s never to late to make a change.
  2. Tomorrow can always be better than today.
  3. Time goes fast, so use it well.
  4. Put your mind to good use.
  5. When an adult speaks, listen carefully.
  6. It’s not too late to change your mind.
  7. Start what you finish.
  8. There’s pride in giving your best shot.
  9. You don’t always have to win.
  10. You can learn from everything, good or bad.
  11. Knowledge is power.
  12. Treat every other kid with respect.
  13. Stand up to bullying.
  14. Don’t always follow the crowd.
  15. Put this money away for another time.
  16. Don’t worry, be happy.
  17. Let your mind settle down.
  18. Think before you act.
  19. If you mess up, be honest about it.
  20. Good things come to people who work for it.
  21. When someone asks for help, give it.
  22. Give your best effort in everything you do.
  23. Money is not the most important thing.
  24. Pay attention to how you are acting.
  25. Be smart with your words.
  26. Never try to hurt someone on purpose.
  27. Be generous and thankful.
  28. Sleep is important for being happy.
  29. You can do it!
  30. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does.
  31. Problems can be solved with the right effort.
  32. The world needs good people.
  33. I LOVE YOU!