Words of encouragement can be a powerful tool to empowering kids, filling them with positive messaging. Just a few words can make all the difference in a child’s day, and can even help them to overcome challenges, building resilience. When kids feel discouraged, words of encouragement can give them the boost they need to keep going. And when they’re facing tough obstacles, words of encouragement can help them to remember their inner strength and power.
Every child is unique and special, and words of encouragement can help them to see their own potential. By sharing positive messages, we can help them to build confidence, feel loved, and give them the opportunity to tap into their fullest potential.
The Power of Encouraging Kids Daily
Every day, young people face a barrage of challenges. They may be struggling with schoolwork, feeling left out by their peers, or coping with difficult family situations. In the midst of all these challenges, it’s easy for kids to lose sight of their own worth and potential.
That’s why it’s so important for adults to take the time to encourage kids on a daily basis. Just a few words of encouragement can give a child the boost they need to keep going. It can remind them that they are valued and capable, no matter what they’re facing.
What phrases do you say each day to encourage your kids? Which ones do you want them to remember?
In the years since my grandmother has been gone, I am still inspired to notice the good things in life when I remember the way she would pause at those good moments and say, “This, now, this is good.” To this day I can hear my mother encouraging me when I try new things. Her voice of confidence from my childhood continues to give me confidence now.
And eighteen years after my dad died, I can still hear him, when I get too serious saying, “Lighten up, Lissy!” In moments of complete self-doubt and embarrassment, I still bolster myself by thinking of him singing, “Oops, you made a mistake, and you’re beautiful to me.”
All of these words of encouragement from my parents and grandparents have stayed with me.
What do you say that will stay with your kids for the rest of their lives?
Certainly, words can become meaningless when they aren’t followed with action, but nonetheless, words have great power. You can choose to add more positive ones to your days.
Coming up with a few encouraging words for kids or positive phrases to say tips the scales towards the kindness you want your kids to imitate.
You never know the words of encouragement from you that your kids will carry with them for years.
64 Words of Encouragement for Kids
May this list inspire you to turn to your child and say something like:
- You are loved
- You make me smile
- I think about you when we’re apart
- My world is better with you in it
- I will do my best to keep you safe
- Sometimes I will say no
- I have faith in you
- I know you can handle it
- You are creative
- Trust your instincts
- Your ideas are worthwhile
- You are capable
- You are deserving
- You are strong
- You can say no
- Your choices matter
- You make a difference
- Your words are powerful
- Your actions are powerful
- Your emotions may be powerful
- And you can still choose your actions
- You are more than your emotions
- You are a good friend
- You are kind
- You don’t have to like what someone is saying in order to treat them with respect
- Someone else’s poor behavior is not an excuse for your own
- You are imperfect
- So am I
- You can change your mind
- You can learn from your mistakes
- You can ask for help
- You are learning
- You are growing
- Growing is hard work
- I believe you
- I believe in you
- You are valuable
- You are interesting
- You are beautiful
- When you make a mistake, you are still beautiful
- Your body is your own
- You have say over your body
- You are important
- Your ideas matter
- You are able to do work that matters
- I see you working and learning every day
- You make a difference in my life
- I am curious what you think
- How did you do that?
- Your ideas are interesting
- You’ve made me think of things in a completely new way
- I’m excited to see what you do
- Thanks for helping me
- Thank you for contributing to our family
- I enjoy your company
- It’s fun to do things with you
- I’m glad you’re here
- I’m happy to talk with you
- I’m ready to listen
- I’m listening
- I’m proud of you
- I’m grateful you’re in my life
- You make me smile
- I love you
Encouraging Children with Words
Research has show that the kind of praise we give to our children can ultimately influence them and motivate them later in life. Therefore, when we utter these words of encouragement to our children, we want to focus on the effort rather than their talent.
Recognize their effort.
The best thing you can do is show them encouragement when they try their best. It doesn’t matter if their abilities are top-notch or above others; they are looking for encouragement at that moment as they put their effort into the task at hand.
Choosing specific phrases to use can also help encourage them.
Don’t generalize your words of encouragement too much. Be specific to what they are working to accomplish. If they are painting a picture, for example, focus on the different colors they have chosen rather than just saying good job.
The praise you offer your children should also be sincere and honest. If the praise you are offering doesn’t feel sincere, then they will likely not feel encouraged at all. The praise is ultimately discounted and can lead to a child to practice self-criticism.
Avoid controlling or conditional praise
When you use praise and encouragement to control your child, they think your approval and positivity depends solely on performance and great results. We will always make mistakes and have stumbles as part of learning and growth. If a child believes they’ll be rejected if they make mistakes it leads to low self worth, perfectionist tendencies and a life-long feeling of ‘never enough’.
You also want to avoid comparison praise because instead of motivating them to work harder, it can end up backfiring. When comparing your child to others and praising them by comparison, they become vulnerable to setbacks they may experience in the future. They learn to compare themselves to others and when they fail, instead of looking towards their own strengths and how to build on those, they look at how they’re ‘worse’ than someone else. This makes it easier to become frustrated and feel helpless while losing their motivation.
The Benefits of Encouragement
When we encourage our children with our positive words and affirmations, we are boosting their self-esteem, helping them learn to believe in themselves, assisting in developing their imagination and creativity, and also motivating them to continue to keep trying and keep learning.
Sometimes the positive phrases might sound hokey, or when you say them over and over, you might wonder if they’re losing power, but here’s how I think about that: I hope that repetition means that some of them stick.
Years from now, when my children face a difficult job interview, a challenging conversation with their spouse or a day that seems like all of the ends are unraveling, my hope is that they’ll remember hearing me encouraging them, and their internal voice will say, “I have faith in you. I’m sure you can handle it. You are loved.”
You may also like:
- Being More Present – 100 Ways to be Kind to your Child
- Increasing Resilience – The One Question to Ask Before Helping Your Kids
- Connecting with Kids – Best Family Board Games
- Believing You Are Enough – Banishing the Should Mama
- De Montfort University Leicester (2019, October 11). Research shows praising children five times a day has a positive impact. Retrieved from https://www.dmu.ac.uk.
- National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2018). Understanding Motivation: Building the Brain Architecture That Supports Learning, Health, and Community Participation Working Paper No. 14. Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.