Words are powerful. We all know this. A few comments can drastically alter our day, for better or worse.
Some words have the ability to stick with us. You probably remember when someone said something harsh to you as a kid. And maybe if you’re honest with yourself, you would say that when you think about those words, they still hurt.
As parents, the words we say to our kids can make a significant difference in their lives, both in the present and future. I am nowhere near the perfect parent. Many of my days end with parenting regrets, things that I know I could have done better or differently.
But there is something that I don’t regret. Every morning and every night I tell my kids three things. I have told my boys these three things so many times that they often interrupt me and finish saying them before I can. Which I love. It means the words are sticking with them.
Here are the three things that I say to my kids everyday:
- I love you. I want them never to doubt this. Even in the midst of discipline and moments of imperfect parenting, I want them to ultimately know that I love them. And that love is steadfast. They can count on it every single day.
- I am proud of you. Most of us know adults that are still longing to hear these words from their parents. They feel like they are still trying to earn their parents’ delight in them. I don’t want my kids to ever feel like they have to earn my pride in them. They already have it. It happened the moment we got the positive pregnancy test announcing their existence. So they can move forward in life knowing that their dad is proud of them.
- I am glad you are my sons. Or “daughter” for those who have girls. This is about being wanted. Everyone wants to be wanted. And they can count on that at our house and with our family.
I love you. I am proud of you. And I am glad that you are my sons. I told my boys these things this morning, and I will tell them again tonight.
Words matter. They are powerful. As a parent, you can make a real difference in your kids’ lives by simply being intentional about your words. You are more than welcome to use these phrases with your own kids, or choose your own. Again, just be intentional about it.
Show them the love and care that our Heavenly Father has shown us.