Say something positive
Emphasise the supportive words and they will stick with your child for life.
‘If you put your mind to anything you can be whatever you want to be.’

Those clichéd words, spoken once only by my mom, stuck in my mind for good and are a source of comfort when self doubt sets in.

When raising children it’s easy to consistently use negative language especially when trying to discipline them. I must admit it’s a challenge to stay positive when a young one has tried all your patience.

Unfortunately if parents do not feed their children on positive words at home who will do it for them? Carefully thought out words consistently spoken to the child not only boost a child’s confidence but turn the child into an optimist.

Here are several statements which every parent should give to their child generously.

I love you

These three little words which take less than 3 seconds to say should be at the tip of every parent’s tongue. The fact that you decided to have that child is proof enough that your love. So why keep it a secret from the child? Verbalise it.

Some dads and moms may not be comfortable saying these words to their child because their own parents never told them they loved them. Be brave enough to break the cycle of withholding words of endearment. A child who knows of the parents’ love is a happy and secure child.

I’ll be there for you

When your child makes a personal decision that you definitely do not agree with, these words show that you respect them and will be there for support their decision.

Feel free to talk to me about anything

This is an invitation to your child to tell you what is happening in his life. Although this invitation may not be followed, it can be a great way to let your child know you are available to talk. However, a parent has to be prepared not to explode when the child expresses opposing view, otherwise communication lines will be closed

Well done, keep it up

A compliment is appreciated by everyone, including children and is a confidence booster. Some parents get into the habit of constantly criticising their child up to a point of shredding the entire child’s self confidence. Look out for opportunities to let your child know that you are proud of the child’s effort. Even if the child shows minimum improvement why not say: ‘Well done, try harder next time.’

What happened at school today?

By asking this question you are showing interest in your child’s personal life. You’ll be surprised what a 6-year-old can tell you about their day. To break the ice you can start by asking a simple question like: ‘How was your lunch?’ The more you get to ask your child about their day at school the sooner you’ll pick up if your child is facing problems at school.

Sometimes it’s easy for conversations between parents and their children to get negative. When this happens, remember that one duty you have as a parent is to inspire that young person to grow up to be a well rounded person. There’s no better way to do that than by speaking to your child with positive words.

What positive things do you remember your parents saying to you?

Read more by Sipho Yanano

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