One of my favorite descriptions of encouragement is “oxygen for the soul.”
Encouraging words have great power. As Mark Twain wrote, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”
This is also true of our children. The more I encourage my kids, the more motivated, confident and even selfless they become. Encouragement can inspire them to do what’s right, work hard and seek to grow in their walk with Christ.
Yet how many parents spend more time correcting and criticizing kids than encouraging them? I know I’m guilty of this far too often.
If you struggle with verbally encouraging your kids, LifeWay Publishers offers a list of words that parents can use to encourage their children. Most of these phrases can apply to kids of a variety of ages and for a range of situations. I’m going to start referring to this list frequently.
1. I believe in you.
2. Thanks so much for the way you handled that situation.
3. Even though it didn’t work out this time, you tried, and that’s what matters.
4. I really appreciate the way you did that.
5. I like spending time with you.
6. You’re a really cool person.
7. You did a great job putting your toys away.
8. You have a beautiful smile.
9. I love to hear you laugh (or sing or tell a story).
10. I’m so thankful God chose to give you to us.
11. My life would be pretty boring without you.
12. That was a fabulous idea you came up with.
13. I think you did that much better than I could have done it.
14. Way to go!
15. You showed a lot of courage in that situation.
16. Let’s work on it together.
17. I couldn’t have done it without you.
18. That’s awesome!
19. You did the right thing, even when no one was watching; that shows you’re a person of integrity.
20. I’m very proud of you.
21. Hey, thanks.
22. I’m sorry.
23. You’re a lot of fun to be with.
24. I can tell you’ve been working hard.
25. I just love spending time with you.
26. You used good judgment.
27. I appreciate the way you thought that through.
28. Most people wouldn’t have been that smart (determined, focused, wise).
29. I’m so glad you are my child.
30. You really understand how to be a good friend to others.
31. You are just great!
32. Thanks for helping even when I don’t ask.
33. You are a true blessing to me.
34. You did a wonderful job.
35. I love your heart.
36. I’m so glad I get to be your parent.
37. You are so special.
38. I know that wasn’t your favorite thing to do — thanks for your wonderful attitude.
40. You are someone who sticks to it.
41. What a kind thing to say.
42. You make me so happy.
43. I knew you could do it.
44. You’re the best!