I have been thinking about this lately and my thought keeps going back to “what we say affects our children”. Of course as a parent I want my words and actions to be building blocks into a healthy, happy adult life for my children. This brought me to thinking what does a child need to hear from their parents? To be completely honest this is just a list of things that I think they need to hear from us, but you can be the judge of what is best for your child.
- “I love you!” I think this is one of the most crucial ones for the simple reason that everyone wants to feel love. I say these three little words everyday to my children and not just an “I love you!” because I need to say it. I say it at that moment I truly feel it. Children are as intuitive and maybe more so than adults and can feel true feeling in us.
- “How was your day?” and yes this should be every child everyday. This can carry a lot of weight in your relationship with your child. Simply asking this question and listening to them about their day no matter what age is important to them. It shows you care and they get those few minutes of your time just to themselves.
- “I’m sorry!” we all make mistakes and if you happen to have made a mistake with your child and it’s something you need to say sorry for them for, say I’m sorry! It can be as simple as yelling at them for being noisy when the reality is they were doing nothing wrong at the moment, but it was you feeling agitated (we have all been there). Saying I’m sorry shows them that you are not perfect and you are human and make mistakes.
- “I was wrong!” when you are wrong admit to them you were wrong, really it’s okay to let them know you are not perfect and you can be wrong. I think in fact it allows a stronger relationship with your children, because they know that whatever the circumstances are if you are wrong as a parent you will take responsibility for it and do your best to correct it. It’s okay not to be perfect and always right in your children’s eyes as you are not perfect.
- “I am proud of you!” this is so important! This is one I say often, but feel I still need to say it more. I think that children need this affirmation that you are proud of them, but you can’t leave out why you are. It could be as simple as them learning to colour inside the lines, but more so you should be including the things that make them who they are. Things like “I am proud of you because I love the person you have become!” or “I am proud of you because you work so hard at school!”.
These are probably just a few things that your children should hear you say to them, but I think these are so important. We all want the same for our children and I think if we took a bit of time more often than not to say these few things it will make a world of difference to them. After all they are human just like you and I and as adults we still like to hear all of these.