“You’re a good boy!”
That simple phrase that I use everytime my son does something good. Wait. Does he even need this sort of encouragement?
I’ve been paying attention to my friends’ son growing up. He was a pretty smart kid with a lot of great options and everyone around him reminds him. Everytime he did something right in school, or came up with some slick idea, his parents, grandparents and teachers gave him a big shout out. For a man who grew up in a strict family, like I did, such an approach was way off base. But whatever, I never said nothin’.
Now, this boy is a man and 15 years older than my 8-years old son and he’s a narcissistic guy, who still lives with his parents and expects their full support and adoring words of appreciation. He’s still as smart as he ever was, but that doesn’t seem to factor into being a better person, or will it?
This example, along with a whole lot of others, has convinced me that too much praising is poison pill for your kid’s future. On the other hand, I don’t want to be that cold stone kind of dad my son will avoid when he’s older. So with that in mind, I started writing down some words of encouragement, which I believe can protect my son from these unforeseen consequences, which I foresee.
Here are some pieces I slapped together for encouragement. I feel like they really work, but what do I know?
My list of words of encouragement in 2017
It’s within your power
Four words that can motivate my son to accomplish something on his own. I support the idea that children should deal with some challenges by themselves, but while feeling safe to ask for help. These words are perfect to emphasize that your child has potential.
You’re worth it
It’s easy to overuse these words, but with the right timing, they help to build those type of relationships with your child you may have seen from 1980s sitcoms. I say it to my kid when he gets a present or a good grades at school.
You’re not alone
It seems like it’s only a girl thing, but it’s really not. Loneliness can happen to any kid due to a lack of friends or parent’s attention. I say it to my boy to let him know that I’ll always be there for him.
I love your creativity
This is a great motivator to get your kid to create something and develop his talent. My son always gets it, no matter what his creation is: pasta castle, a watercolor dogs, or crayon drawings on mirror.
Yeah, me too
Taking your kid’s side is a perfect way to encourage him to do whatever he’s feeling up, or feel down. I always share in my boy’s mood, offering him my own experiences.
A quick note! When you’re using some uncommon phrases, it’s better to stop and explain them. The same way if you’re watching cartoons or movies with your kids – you should explain what’s wrong or right, and why some characters are behaving in such a way.
My list of encouraging words is still not as long as it could be, but I’m doing my best. That’s all of any of us can do, right? I would really appreciate if you’d share some of your thoughts in the comments, and after a while I’ll make a whole dictionary. I really believe that our words are important for our kids, and we need to work on every phrase we use to make the lives of our kids not just appreciated, but solid gold.