Using encouraging words with your child is essential to helping them stay motivated. These words also help them see their worth and ability to contribute to the world around them. The words that kids hear each day can make all the difference in their life, so you must offer positivity whenever you can.
While many parents praise their children, it’s more beneficial to offer words of encouragement. Studies show that children become less motivated when they receive praise, but their confidence increases from motivation.
Encouraging words work because it builds the child up and helps them understand how their actions influence the world around them. They begin to see how they can make a difference and that hard work and kindness pay off. If you use positive words, they’ll focus on their good qualities instead.
When you use words of encouragement, it fills your child with love, kindness, positivity, and confidence. They’ll want to do their best and continue contributing positively to the world. It helps them develop healthy self-esteem and all of the emotions they need to live a happy life.
Twenty Encouraging Words and Phrases to Teach Kids
1. I love the way you accept other kids’ differences.
If you see your child interacting or playing with a child with differences, it’s important to point it out. Telling your child that you love the way they accept others will encourage them to continue being that way. Plus, it teaches them that their kind behavior is always worth it, helping them feel better about themselves, too.
2. You made a great observation.
Children observe things and see them differently than adults do. They might see things that others missed because they have a fresh and unique perspective.
When this happens, make sure to use positive words and point out that they made a great observation. By pointing out that they did well, it’ll encourage them to be watchful and observant in the future, too. Then, they’ll have the confidence to speak up when they notice something that others didn’t, as well.
3. I trust you and your decisions.
When a child knows that you trust them and their decisions, they’ll feel more comfortable making choices, they’ll think their decisions through and choose what’s best for them based on their previous knowledge. When you teach your child this skill, it’s a long-life benefit for them.
4. It seemed like you enjoyed that activity.
These encouraging words help your child learn about what they like and don’t like. By pointing out that it seemed like they enjoyed something, they’ll reflect on their experience while it’s still fresh in their mind. Then, the next time they do that same activity or try something new, they’ll focus on having fun again.
5. Thank you for being so kind.
Thanking your child for being kind makes them want to continue the positive behavior in the future. They’ll start looking for ways to be kind, helping their loved ones and strangers whenever they can. Plus, you’ll hear them using kind phrases when speaking to others, too.
6. I can tell you spent a lot of time on this.
Rather than saying “great job!” try using this phrase instead. By pointing out that the child took their time, it’ll encourage them to do that in all situations in the future too. It promotes focus and hard work rather than rushing to produce results.
If you only tell your child, “Great job,” they’ll start to get lazy as they work on things. They won’t take their time anymore because the response is always the same and unspecific.
7. You have come so far!
Kids progress at different speeds, and that is okay. You don’t want to compare your child’s progress to someone else’s because it can cause negativity and make them want to quit. Instead, point out how far they have come personally.
Your child likely puts a lot of effort into improving themselves, so encouraging them with this phrase is beneficial. All it takes is an acknowledgment that they did better than last time.
8. I feel like we’re a great team when working so well together.
This phrase promotes teamwork and encourages children to put in the effort. When you tell them that you work well together as a team, they’ll want to continue showing that they can do the work. No matter what you’re working on together, take the time to vocalize your thoughts.
9. You are so loved!
There is no better way to encourage a child than to remind them that they are loved. Children thrive when they feel loved and accepted because it helps them feel safe. It gives them the security they need to try new things and stay true to themselves along the way.
10. Can you tell me what you think about this?
Asking for a child’s opinion builds their self-esteem and lets them know you value their thoughts. It also encourages them to think about the things they hear to form an opinion. By doing this, you’re teaching your child to communicate effectively and develop solutions before being asked.
11. You were open-minded, and it helped you pursue a new idea.
Being open-minded is a beneficial quality to have, so it’s a good idea to encourage it in your child. Point out when their openness allowed them to learn something new or discover something exciting. They might not realize that being open-minded prompted the new idea, so don’t let the moment pass.
12. I appreciate all of your help.
This simple phrase isn’t spoken enough to children. If your child helps you with anything, take the time to look them in the eye and tell them that you appreciate it. By stopping to thank them, it’ll encourage them to help again later on.
Plus, when children feel appreciated, they feel happy and fulfilled. It serves as an affirmation that helps them feel love and approval from you.
13. Thank you for being a good listener.
Encouraging good listening skills is as simple as thanking your child for focusing on what you said. Whether they listened to you or someone else, don’t let the moment go unnoticed. This phrase will make them want to listen to what’s happening around them and pay attention when others speak.
14. It’s tough, but you’ll figure it out!
When a child says something is hard, don’t invalidate their feelings by saying it’s not. Instead, use this phrase to agree that their task is challenging, but they have what it takes. When you teach them that they can figure anything out, it’ll help them persevere.
15. I love the way you described your feelings using words.
If your child struggles with expressing their emotions, this phrase is the one for you. When they use their words to express themselves, point them out to see how beneficial it was. Then, they’ll be more likely to do it again next time.