What Your Children NEED to Hear

I have writer’s block today . . . so, I made a list.  ENJOY!

10 Things You Should Tell Your Children EVERY Day

1) I love you! – You should say this everyday as many times as you possibly can.  Say it until you get that familiar “I know, Mom” or “You always say that!”  Say it when they wake up.  Say it before they go to bed.  Say it before they leave for school, a play date or just to run around outside.  Say it when they come back.  Say it when they are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Say it as much as you can!
2) I’m proud of you! – Find something everyday to tell your children you are proud of them for doing.  Tell them you are proud that they are learning to read or learning to add or subtract or multiply.  Tell them you are proud of the way they drew that picture.  Tell them you are proud that they finished their dinner and cleared the table.  Tell them you are proud of how they are sharing with their brother or sister.  Let them know they are doing things to make you happy!
3) You are special – Every child is special.  Find something everyday that makes your child special (even if it is just because they are YOURS) and tell them about it.
4) It’s okay. – Honestly, a lot of the things that kids do drive us crazy.  They can push our buttons.  They make messes that they can’t clean up and we know we will be stuck cleaning.  They break things – expensive things or irreplaceable things.  I promise you that at some point one of those things will happen (if you are like me it happens daily).  TAKE A DEEP BREATH, GIVE YOUR DARLING CHILD A HUG and say, “IT’S OKAY!”  You will both feel better – and even though it may not feel like it’s okay . . . it will be.
5) Yes! – Kids hear “No.” ALL the time!  “No, you can’t eat that.”  “No, you can’t do that”  “No, you can’t have that.”  “No, we can’t buy that.”  “No, we can’t go there”  Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and pick one thing a day that you would normally say NO to and say YES!  Their smiles (and shocked little faces) will be worth it!
6) How about now? – Tomorrow . . . Tomorrow . . . there’s always tomorrow.  We always put things off that we don’t have time for or don’t feel like doing.  For example, Danika has been asking me to make cookies with her for 3 days and I keep telling her another day.  Tomorrow, when she says “Mommy, when are we going to make those cookies?” I’m going to say, “How about now?”  I can’t wait!
7) That’s a great idea! – I know I love it when someone says that to me . . . it doesn’t happen often, though!  Imagine how many more ideas they will have if you tell them how great their ideas are!  Not every idea is going to be great, of course, but if you don’t encourage them they will stop having ideas and that is truly tragic.
8) I love spending time with you! – Believe it or not, your kids would rather have you spend an hour reading, drawing, laughing, snuggling, playing, cooking, building, learning, teaching, racing, throwing, catching, swinging and smiling than anything that you can buy them.  Best of all – it doesn’t cost a penny!  Each day spend some time with you kids and then tell them how much you love spending time with them, it will mean more than you can imagine!
9) Will you help me? – A lot of the things we want done by our kids we tell them to do.  In fact, one of the lessons I learned early on when teaching 3 year olds was that you tell them and don’t ask them . . . because if you ask them they can say, “No”.  However, with your kids it is sometimes nice to ask for help.  There are certain things that they HAVE to do and those are the things that you can TELL them to do . . . pick up your toys, make your bed, brush your teeth, eat your dinner, turn off the TV.  But imagine asking your child to help you with something that they don’t HAVE to do but you truly WANT their help with!  “Can you help me set the table?”  “Can you help me make dinner?”  “Can you help me pack a bag?”  “Can you help me find my keys?”  It will make them feel needed and useful, which we all know are WONDERFUL feelings!
10) You make my life complete. – Yes, I love Jerry Maguire.  I’ve always loved that movie . . . perfect mix of chick flick and sports movie (yeah . . . that’s coming from a chick so I’m sure it isn’t PERFECT but I enjoyed it!).  The whole, “You COMPLETE me” thing has always been one of those things that I’ve considered to be just as powerful (if not more so) than an “I love you”.  Telling your child that they make your life complete not only tells them that you love them but it also tells them that they are part of you.  We may be More Than Mommies but Mommies are also a BIG part of who we are and we wouldn’t be complete without the loves of our lives!
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  1. says

    These are so sweet and so needed!  It will make the parent appreciate everything a lot more and eliminate stress, too, I imagine.  The best piece of advice I got while I was pregnant was to tell my kids one thing I loved doing with them during that day when I was putting them to bed at night.  That way they not only know that they are loved, but also know that their parents enjoy spending time with them.

  2. says

    Also, remember to tell them thank you when they help you out (#9)  Or even when they do things that they are supposed to do.  (That can also go along with #2 “Thank you for cleaning up your toys when you were done playing with them!  I am proud of you for remembering to do that without having to be reminded”)  When you use the words please and thank you with your kids, not only are you teaching them good manners by example, you are letting them know that not only do you love them, but you RESPECT them.  That is something that everyone needs, but a lot of people don’t think that kids need or deserve respect.  Showing your kids that you respect them will lead them to respect you more, and it will help them to grow up feeling good about themselves in a world full of self doubt.

  3. says

    Thanks!  I will tell you that being a parent definitely taught me to not sweat the small stuff and try to keep perspective – in the end you really have to focus on what is important and make sure your kiddos know it is THEM!  :)  Thanks for your comment!

  4. says

    Thank you!  I try SO hard to always stay calm and say the right things to my kids but it doesn’t ALWAYS work . . . I can’t stand people who never say nice things to their kids, though.  It makes me SO sad.  I think I wrote this as a reminder to myself as much as to share it with others!  :)

    Thanks for the comment!  

  5. says

    Thanks!  It’s not always easy but I figure if I talk to my kids this way then maybe they will talk to my grandkids that way . . . they BETTER!!!!  hehehe (not that grandkids are in my future anytime soon!!!)

  6. says

    This is awesome! Also, children need this kind of input daily from their caregivers too ( either grandma, nannies, etc), is great to know that your children are taking care of with love and respect from who you picked to be with them while you’re gone. Thank you! Going to share @AZnannies

  7. muriel says

    Hi!! I Loved this post… Could I translate this post for my blog? it’s in Portuguese….

  8. Melanie Coffee says

    Love, love, love this list! Especially the “How ’bout now” one because when I say that to my guy, his face just lights up.

  9. Paula Raditch says

    These are wonderful things to tell my grand daughter. Since my sons are now adults they will be the perfect way to bless her and let her know how important she is in my life.

  10. Sarah says

    Don’t forget ‘I’m sorry’ when you screw up! It helps them realize that we’re only human and make mistakes too, and that it’s not about if you screw up sometimes it’s how you handle the situation afterwards that counts.

  11. Kelsey Bryant says

    I really really enjoyed this read. We just started fostering I am a stay at home mom with six kids now four of my own and I just feel like I’m always nagging at them. I think this will be perfect to try especially for our new boys!


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