Andrew N Meltzoff, a researcher from the University of Washington’s Department of Psychology wrote a journal that children learn from watching their parents. However many people fail to notice is that children will also mimic verbal behavior. That is why, if you want your kids to grow up to be a good person, these are some sentences your kids should hear.
1. “I don’t know”
While it might be scary to admit that you don’t know about what your child is asking you, this is one of many sentences your kids should hear more often.
By saying “I don’t know”, you are showing your child that you are also a vulnerable person. If you could say it with enough confidence, you are also teaching your kids that it is okay to not know everything.
However, you should not stop there. You can encourage your kids to find the answer together with you. That way, you are subtly telling them to find an answer if they stumble upon something they don’t know.
2. “I’m sorry”
If you want to show humility and empathy to your kids, the best way is to say that you are sorry. By saying “I’m sorry”, you are teaching about the importance to do introspection and self-reflection when your kids harm another person, be it knowingly or not.
If they see you apologizing after making a mistake, they will take note of it and start to internalize about the connection of mistakes and apology.
But that’s not all, by saying that you are sorry, you are also teaching your children the first step of reconciliation and recovery.
3. “I trust you”
Another sentence your kids should hear is “I trust you”.
Just like how adults loved to be trusted, children are the same. By saying that you trust them, you will raise the stakes of them acting much more trustworthy. This trust is usually given, but parents need to say it in a way that makes them feel like it’s earned. They will have to work hard for us to trust them.
By saying that you trust them, you will also raise their self-worth. This will make your kids to less likely feel hesitant about their decision when they grow up.
4. “What do you think?”
When you are in the middle of planning a dinner, try asking what your child wants. Just like other people, children are in dire need to know whether their opinions are valued or not.
By asking them about their opinion—especially about things they are interested in and you have no clue about—you are helping them mature and help them form their own voice and cohesive opinion.
If your child can see you doing this a lot, they will also grow to realize that it’s important to hear other people’s opinion.
5. “You were right.”
As a parent, you are still human. There will be instances where you disregard your child’s opinion over yours. But when their opinion turns out to be correct, you need to say “you were right.”
By saying this, you are implying to your child that it’s okay to admit you made mistakes. This sentence will also encourage reciprocation from your child, and will probably improve any sense of collaboration and equality between you as a parent and your child.
6. “I love you”
Among many sentences your kids should hear more, the most basic one is “I love you.” For your child, having you pronouncing your love to them is like a strong arms that hold them. Your child will always need to be reminded that the love you have for them is unconditional.
Because of that, you as a parent should say how you love your child. For some parents, it might be embarrassing, but if you hold back on pronouncing your love, your kids might think that you don’t love them at all.
But be careful, if you say it too much and while you don’t pay attention to your child, the sentence will lose its meaning altogether.
7. “I’m sure you can do it”
During their childhood, there will be times when your kid is faced with a problem that will take them a long time to finish. While they are stuck, they might feel like they are not capable to finish that task. This is when you should hug them and tell them:
“I’m sure you can do it.”
It’s another one of many sentences your kids should hear. For them, it will be something to boost their confidence. By saying this, you can show that you believe in them, but at the end of the day it’s still up to them to succeed or not.
8. “You decide”
Just like letting your child to voice their opinion, this time you should try to let your child be the one to decide things. It might be trivial things such as letting them decide which holiday plan would be the best for them, or what kind of play they would like to do.
This sentence is simple, but it holds many meanings. Simply by saying it, you are giving your child responsibility, independence, trust, decision space, and affirming that you value their ability to be self-determining.
Those are some examples of sentences your kids should hear more so they can be a well-adjusted people later in life. Obviously, there are many others like this. What about you? What kind of sentence do you think could give a positive reaction for your child?
Activities to do with your kids
In order to give positive vibes to your kids, you can put some motivational words to be packed with their lunches. By doing so, it will not only give your kids a pleasant surprise, but also to let your kids know that they are important to you.
This time, skiptomylou gives a very good example for this:
Image Credit: skiptomylou
You can print the cards on a white cardstock and put it inside their lunch box. You can download some of the notes for free here.