Often as parents, words slip out of our mouths before we even think about them. I am no exception and will be the first to admit it. Sometimes we may quickly tell our kids things like “you should be ashamed of yourself” or “I’m going to leave you right here if you don’t stop” and don’t realize how this actually affects our children in the future. The way that we communicate with our children is so important to their emotional health, their self esteem, and even their personal empowerment. The outcomes and attitudes our kids have are linked to the words that we use as parents. The words that you use can either wound, shame, and bring down or they can nurture, encourage, and empower your child.
So, now that you know how important the things are that you say to your kids, you may be wondering what you shouldn’t say and what things you should say. If you’re not sure what words to use to help build up and empower your child, here is a look at some of the words that empower and some words that tear down your children. Learn the difference and start changing the way that you speak to your children. You’ll be surprised at the difference.
Negative and Dis-empowering Words vs. Positive Empowering Words
“You should” instead you can say “You could or you can”
“I can’t” instead you can say “I’ll do my very best”
“Try” instead you can say “Do your very best”
“You must” instead you can say “I’d like for you to”
“Don’t forget to” instead you can say “Please make sure you remember”
“Don’t drop it” instead you can say “Make sure you carefully hold it”
“That was a bad shot” instead you can say “You can do much better”
“I’m too busy to…” instead you can say “I’ll find some time”
“You’re a real pain” instead you can say “You could take better actions”
“You have to” instead you can say “I would like you to”
“It’s too hard” instead you can say “Practice will make it easier”
“I’m not good at” instead you can say “I can do better”
“You’re being selfish” instead you can say “Try to work on sharing more”
“You’re being irritable” instead you can say “You’re a bit sensitive”
“I’m not good…” instead you can say “I need some more practice”
“No one likes me” instead you can say “Making friends takes some time”
“You’re naught” instead you can say “You can behave in a better way”
How many times have you told your kids that you’re too busy, that they are being naughty, or that they should do something? More than likely you do this on a regular basis. It’s easy to get in the habit of using those negative words, and it will take some conscious effort on your part to start changing your ways. You’ll really need to focus on using positive and empowering words with your children, but it’s definitely going to be worth it in the end.
Positive Words to Make Your Compliments More Meaningful
Another way that you can use words that empower is by using words to compliment your child. Of course, just saying they did a “good job” can get old hat pretty quickly. When you are trying to build them up, you want to use words that are less common, which will make the statement even more powerful and meaningful to your child. Here are some phrases including positive words to empower your child that you can use to build them up and make them feel great on a regular basis.
– You’re amazing
– The way you performed in that game was astonishing
– That A on your test was brilliant
– You did an excellent job on that drawing
– Your portrayal of the character in the play was extraordinary
– You did a fabulous job on cleaning your room
– Fantastic job on the picture you drew for school
– You were incredibly nice to your friends today
– The science fair project you made is marvelous
– That music performance was out of this world
– It’s outstanding that you got all A’s this report card
– It’s mind blowing that you did so well on that test
– I found your swim meet remarkable today
– You were spectacular in your dance recital
– You did a super job on the dishes
– It was wonderful the way you helped out today
– That score in the game was terrific
– You did a tremendous job on that piano solo
As you can see, words can be powerful. Just using some less common positive words can make your compliments to your children even more exciting. You’ll see them blossom and perform even better when you start using this type of communication with them.
The words that you use with your children every day, no matter what age they are, can bring them down or help to build them up. You want children that are happy and empowered, and using the right words can accomplish this for you. Make sure that you are using positive words with your children and not inadvertently hurting them with negativity. After all kids are kids and they take things very literally. The right words can be the best ‘teachable’ moments in your child’s life.