The following is a sample chapter from my book, The Newbie’s Guide to Positive Parenting, which you can purchase on Amazon
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. – Proverbs 12:18 Holy Bible, ESV
Words are powerful. Words are especially powerful when said by parents to their children. Words have the power to build up, and words have the power to tear down.
In the last chapter, it was discussed how the words we use can either foster a positive self-concept or a negative self-concept. We can also foster connection or disconnection, elicit cooperation or rebellion, hurt or heal, depending on what we allow to come out of our mouths.
There are 4 words that a child should hear regularly. These 4 simple words will take root in a child’s heart and bless him his entire life.
I believe in you.
When your child is facing something difficult, “You will overcome this. I believe in you.”
When your child is successful, “I knew you could do it. I believe in you.”
When your child has misbehaved, “You’ll make this right. I believe in you.”
When we believe in them, they learn to believe in themselves, and that is a priceless gift to give them. We all long to have at least one person in our corner, no matter what, who we know believes the best in us. A parent should be that one person.
Other words that plant positive seeds which will spring forth self-worth in your child’s heart:
I see you.
In the age of distractions, our children need to know that we see them, truly see them.
“I see you being kind to your sister.”
“I see you taking good care of your things.”
“I see you swinging high.”
“I see you doing your best on your homework.”
Childhood is so fleeting, and although in the thick of busy days and restless nights, it seems it will drag on forever, the reality is it will be over with all too soon. Ask any parent of grown children how quickly it happens. Leave the distractions behind for a while each day and just look.
“You matter more than the mess.”
“You matter more than the phone.”
“You matter more than the broken vase.”
“You matter more than my in-box.”
When you’ve had one call after another and your little one is tugging on your shirt, remember what really matters. When the milk is splattered all over the floor and those little eyes are looking at you for your reaction, remember what really matters. It takes 5 minutes to clean up spilled milk; it takes much longer to clean up a broken spirit.
I believe in you.
I see you, love.
Tell them often and watch them flourish.