Thursday, July 28, 2016

8 Things Your Kids Need to Hear

things kids need to hear
As parents, we naturally want what is best for our children, and the things that we say and the conversations that we have will inevitably shape them into adulthood (ohhh, the pressure!) .  The things that we do and say have the power to help mold an independent, confident and well-rounded adult.... or the complete opposite.

1. "I love you"

Ok, this one is pretty obvious, but it is an important one none the less. Reminding kids that they are loved is absolutely critical. Parents love is how we secure attachments into adulthood and directly affects self-esteem and relationships as we grow up. (Loved this article on the topic: The Importance of Telling Your Children I Love You Everyday)

2. "You are valued"

This one may seem like it goes along with "I love you," but they are vastly different and equally important. Children need to be reminded and hear that they are valuable, that you are proud of them, that you are grateful for the person that they are and to have them as your child.

3. "You are Heard"

Children value and crave their parents' attention, feeling like they are heard and that their parents are listening to what they have to say is vital to their self-esteem. It is important to let them know that you are present in that moment and listening to them, their feelings, thoughts, and needs. Even if it seems like a silly conversation to you, it is so very important to them. Feeling heard and listened to can also prevent negative cries for attention and acting out and lets them know that if they have something big to talk about, that you are there and will listen.

4."You can do it"

Giving your kids responsibility and encouragement to do things themselves early on helps to build independent and confident adults. We, as a culture, are in the habit of wanting to do everything and handle every problem for our children. This may appease them in the moment and make us feel good, but we are hurting them in the long run.

5. "I'm sorry"

Seeing and hearing the important adults in their life own up to and apologize for their not so shining moments will instill the same in our children. It also lets them know that it is ok to not be perfect, that we all do and say things sometimes that we are not so proud of, but that it is important to take responsibility for our actions.

6. "I forgive you"

Children need to know that they are forgiven when they mess up. They need to be reminded that they are good and one not so pleasant action or mistake doesn't define them in your eyes. A simple "I forgive you" in response to a teary "I'm sorry" can help reiterate that it is ok to make mistakes and the importance of owning up to them.

7. Compliments

Compliments feel good, especially when they are from people that we care about (or in this case, the most important people in the world). We tend to get stuck in a pattern of disapproval and correction when it comes to our children. It is important to break up that pattern by reminding our children what they're doing right and the things that we love about them. A sincere compliment from you can make your kids day and stick with them for a lifetime. (Great ideas for giving meaningful compliments to your children: 10 Compliments Your Kids Need to Hear).

8. "No"

We all want to give our kids everything that they want and make them happy in every moment, but always telling them yes really doesn't do them any favors. Telling your kids "no" sometimes helps them learn how to deal with a little disappointment gracefully (although it may take a while to see that "gracefully" part) and that they can't always expect instant gratification.

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