64 Positive Things to Say – Words of Encouragement for Kids
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.
In a world that is often harsh and unforgiving, encouraging kids is one of the most powerful things we can do. It lets them know that they are not alone and that someone cares about them. Just a few words can make all the difference in a child’s life.
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.
I am happy to offer a poster version of this list here.
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 can get a poster version of this list here.
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.
64 Positive Things to Say to Kids
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Each and every one of these is amazing. It is so important to install the sense of value, self-care, and confidence in your child.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best. Thanks a lot for the wonderful words.
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Thanks Alissa for these positive list. Can’t find any word to describe it except: Beautiful.
Asaba Lynda Sirri
This is amazing ,its sometimes so hard to deal with kids and i believe loving them and using positive words on them will do more good.
Thanks Asaba, the words we use make a difference!
Older tv shows like Bob Ross’ painting shows and Mr. Rogers have the kind of inspiring and encouraging words that I wish more shows and parents expressed. For example, when Mr. Rogers said “I like you just the way you are”, it made my heart melt because it is such a kindness when people like you and don’t press or criticize or bully or silently overlook. Too many walk in a shadow of doubts about themselves and hearing these words in their childhood might have made a world of a difference!
Here’s a short excerpt from the show: https://imgur.com/gallery/Wb5GL
Aww,yeah, I loved watching Mr. Rogers when I was a kid, so kind and positive.
I really loved this article! It gave me some new insights I never really thought about before.
thanks for great sharing !
Great resource for parents or teachers! Do you have any plans for translating it into Spanish?
I think that’s a good idea, but haven’t made firm plans to do so yet. Thanks!
I read the article “strongly influenced by your post” and saw your comment, I saved both to my pinterest. My son has ADHD pretty severely and gets so much negative feedback in his day to day life. It’s so important for me to encourage him and give him kind words so he doesn’t get discouraged.
My grandmother used to end every phone conversation with I love you and like you!
I tell my daughter every night that she makes my heart happy. 🙂
Let us also extend these beautiful, life-affirming concepts to the animals in our lives, and to all animals. Let’s show children that all living things are deserving of love and respect.
Reach for the sky and you can do anything if you want to bad enough , the choices of what is right or wrong you know it’s up to you—-are a few of my favorites followed with I love and trust you.
I have noticed that when I put my kids on time out or take away a toy or anything like that, the only thing they care about is knowing that I still love them. Despite their bad behavior they want to know that they r still loved. So when we’ve had a bad day I always take them in my arms and reassure them with these words “I love you soo much. There is NOTHING you can do that will ever make me stop loving you, never! I will always love you.” Of course this leads to other words of love on both sides but I have found that this reassurance of love goes a long way.
Thanks for your blog….love it!
You are really really awesome mother
I am a big fan of your blog. There are many think I learned from you for my kid
I tell my fifteen year old daughter, I love you and I really like you too.
As all parents love there offspring. (from my experience). But i really like my daughter too, the person she is becoming.
Love this list!
ALL OF THEM ARE REALLY NICE AND SO CAREING
Thank you! Love your tag line too–looking for joy in ordinary chaos. I can easily get triggered by my kids but when I am kind, compassionate and considerate (starting with myself) my kids do so much better (ie. are encouraged) and I get the benefits. And for the folks who think we are being too soft on our kids: Setting limits with our kids can be done respectfully. (Even when parents get mad. Yes, yes, we are human, after all.) The benefits are that you foster a wholesome connection. And, its magic when the kid generates (out of volition, not fear) its own limits. When I make mistakes, I’d rather be told straight rather than be shamed, chewed out or scolded. I’m open to making amends rather than in a defensive mode.
Even though it is long after they were written, I want to post a comment to say that I really appreciate these words:
“its magic when the kid generates (out of volition, not fear) its own limits. When I make mistakes, I’d rather be told straight rather than be shamed, chewed out or scolded. I’m open to making amends rather than in a defensive mode.”
I was really excited to read about how Alyssa had internalised her family’s POSITIVE words, because I know how very easy it is to internalise negative messages.
(Not just from my own experience, but others’ too.)
Limit setting without shaming is difficult with this background, and when your children seem to lack awareness of the things that are “obvious” to you.
I long for the day my oldest son realises that he will develop a sense of pride and accomplishment if he puts in effort with his homework. And that even if feels like he ‘fails’ after putting in effort, he can feel proud of giving his personal best.
** I just don’t know how to get him there ** (with me in one piece!).
Thanks for your site Alyssa.
I love this list, and will be sharing it! Thank you!
As I’m tucking my kids in at night, I tell each of them, “I love you always and forever no matter what. “. I have done this every night since they were little, and they are 12 and 7.
i love it to <3
My son is only 6 month and every morning I tell him I love him more than anything in the world….and at bed time I always tell him he is beautiful smart and important and loved x
WOW! I found this post after a Google search. It brought me to tears. Thank you! It was exactly what I was looking for
Wat can I do to prevent my girfriend from stoping to spoil her child,cos she’s not mine bt I love both of dem bt she is a spoilbrat?