One of the most powerful things parents can do is build your self-confidence and nurture your self-esteem. This is a life-long undertaking and one that can feel monumental when you’re the parent. Here are some confidence-building phrases to use with your children that will hopefully stick with them for the rest of their lives.
That was brave
With children, it’s incredibly helpful to notice things out loud. Point out the obvious, because it’s not always obvious. When your child is courageous or when they face their fear, let them know that it was brave, that they are brave. They will begin to notice it too and positive reinforcement will have them acting in courageous ways more. Other positive reinforcement phrases include, “That was a great idea or you have such great ideas.”
You’ve got this/ You’re capable/You can do hard things
Let your child know that they have your vote of confidence regarding their ability to do things. As long as it’s something within their skillset, let them know that they are capable of a lot more than they think. Part of this is equipping them to face obstacles by reminding them that they can do hard things. Back this up by not undercutting it with fear-based statements like “You’re going to hurt yourself” or “Don’t fall.” If they’re really struggling with something, you can say, “I know it’s hard but I’ve seen you do it before.”
That sounds awesome, tell me more
Listening to children and taking them seriously can be a real confidence booster. When they’re doing something they enjoy, ask them to explain it to you, or when they contribute to a conversation you’re having, listen and ask them to tell you more. Ask questions, and disagree if you must, as long as you engage. Taking their views and interests seriously helps them to take themselves seriously. It’s a real confidence booster.
Did you see what just happened?
One dad talked about the value of asking his child, “Did you see what just happened?” Learning new things can be hard, with many instances of failure before you grasp the concept. This dad says it to his kid every time they persist in their attempts to do something. It removes the sting of failure and the effect it can have on your self-confidence and instead builds you up by reminding you that when you stick with something you win. Failure is part of it and when they finally get it done, it’s an opportunity to reflect, “Did you see what just happened?”
You are enough
So much of our self-perception is based on our achievements which is unhealthy. We don’t always achieve the things we set out to do and our confidence takes a hit as a result. This is something you can help your children slightly get ahead of by reminding them that they are enough regardless of their external achievements.
Other phrases to use regularly include:
- I’m proud of you
- I believe in you
- Let’s try it together
- How can I help?
- I know you tried and I am proud of that effort
- You’re great, don’t be afraid to be yourself
10 Tips On How To Raise Confident Children
Parenting: Should You Force Your Children To Share?
Orchid Parenting: What Being A Highly Sensitive Parent Means
Five Tips To Help Improve Mental Health In Children
Parenting: How To Encourage Critical Thinking In Your Child
Parenting: Key Behaviour To Model For Children
Why Obedience Should Not Be A Parenting Goal
The Psychological Impact Of Yelling At Your Child