Sometimes it's very easy for us to tell our kids what not to do, what not to say etc. It is easy for us as parents to just to say "Stop", "Enough already", "Do not do it", or "Why did you do exactly what I told you not to do".
It's one thing to stop trying to “fix” everything, trying to change them, but it is quite another thing to understand what to do instead.
Here are five sentences that every child should hear from their parent, on a daily basis – meaning: every day!
1. I love you - sounds the most obvious right? Obviously, you love your child and it is clear that every child should hear these three words every day but they should not only hear it, they should see and experience it, it is what allows them to feel protected, safe and of course happy.
Does he like your apple cake? cookies? Call him and tell him that because he loves you so much and you love him so much you backed him this special cake. Embrace him, admire him, tell him you love him. Every day, in words and especially in actions.
2. What do you suggest? – When you invite your child to think about a challenge, difficulty or a problem he is having, you allow your child to solve the problem for himself.
We usually do not allow our children to think for themselves about solutions or share with us what they think about something that is not necessarily related only to them.
Instead, we talk to them as if we have all the answers, we tell them what to do but then really want them to grow up taking responsibility for themselves and their belongings.
It of course takes much less time to tell the child what to do instead of asking for his opinion and to take a moment to stop and have a conversation with him, it is obvious, but if we stop for a moment and ask:
"Hmmm, I wonder what you think can be done?"
We will get solutions we did not dream of and then instead of feeling that we are the only ones who know what is right or what is worth doing.
If you want to raise responsible children, then they need to be given responsibility and the best way to raise responsible children is to significantly reduce or actually stop telling them what to do and ask them "what do you think we should do now?".
We can of course guide and direct them to answers that are more suitable to the real world but first ask their opinion. This might be the only way your child will develop confidence in his opinions and we want our child to be strong right?
We need to be patient, stop for a minute, listen, be empathetic if it is required and only then give them this gift that allows them to develop their confidence in themselves.
3. I see you worked really hard - well done. Often, we want our kids to succeed and thrive so sometimes we ask them for more and more, higher score, make the bed every day, we want our children to put the school bag back in place and the laundry in the appropriate basket and in order for them to work harder sometimes we offer them prizes. I will not go into that now but studies shown that encouraging reward-related effort actually reduces your child's effort and performance.
Strive, regardless of success or not, to show your child that you are happy with him and for him, he will be much more open and confident to try again, to strive again, even if did not succeed at first. Ensuring only success will block your child to try new things.
If you on the contrary, support and enhance hard work and trying new things he will try to see if he is more successful next time around.
You worked really hard, wow you set the whole table all alone, it's a lot of work, It seems to me that today you have managed to make the best of all days so far! Show your child that you see his effort, investment and hard work.
4. I'm sorry, because let’s face it, in reality, we make mistakes as parents too and it does not matter what kind of a parent you are. If we treat our parenting as a "finished product" it may make our children feel judged. We make mistakes every day in front of our children! Yes I said it, every day!
Sometimes you might meet parents who tell their children:
Because you did so and so then you made me raise my voice… you made me take your snack or even parents who say:
'I'm sorry you are…! You did this and that and now you made me sad or angry… If you do not want me to be angry with you then do not act like this "
This is not an apology!!
This is what will make our child feel much worse, not much better.
When I say "I'm sorry" or as I say to my children often "I am a first-time mother to ..."
A child in first grade,
Dealing with a boy running down the street,
First time for everything ….
Iactually agree, I admit my mistake.
Acknowledging the fact that I am not a finished product, that I am not the perfect parent, this is human and it is the new perfect.
When you say I am sorry you show your child in your behavior that you too as a parent learn from the mistakes you make, and he learns that it's really okay to admit mistakes, apologize and take responsibility for correcting it.
When we did something, we regret, our children deserve an apology, just as we would expect a loved one to behave, they are human beings and we should treat them the way we expect the world to treat us and them.
5. Thank you - to say thank you gives our child a boost to do more of this good thing we were able to see, as if we passed a marker and highlighted for him something he did, thank you is a much more effective word than telling your child that he is a champion or amazing.
And thank you is so simple to say:
"Thanks, I really appreciate what you did." Then our child feels appreciated immediately, he feels he did this thig good!
Saying thank you to your child is also a way to teach him to be polite, saying thank you and adding on what you are thankful about affects the entire relationship with your child.
Saying thank you is an important building block in your relationship with your child, every day!
I hope you enjoyed this article and it gave you some parental value. I would love to hear from you what you think is important that every child hears every single day?