These Words of Affirmation Will Make Your Kids Feel So Loved
- Amanda Idleman Contributing Writer
- 2020 9 Oct
As parents the power of our words cannot be overstated! Our words become the inner voice that fills our children's minds as they grow. How many times have you heard your child say something that “sounded just like you!” These moments are always startling reminders that our words are being internalized by our children and shaping who they are becoming!
Proverbs 12:18 says, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” As parents we must use wisdom in how we use our words and even when we fail at speaking with kindness (sadly it is inevitable at some point we will mess this thing up) we take the time to circle back and use our words to help bring healing. It is our job to speak life into the minds and hearts of our children!
Children take to heart the words they hear us speak about us and the general tone we use to communicate to one another in our homes. Our words have a prophetic nature about them. Children become what we speak about them and we need to give them good things to believe about themselves! Let’s explore the power of using positive language with our kids.
Is Using Words of Affirmation an Effective Parenting Strategy?
With so many different styles of parenting out there, it is helpful to explore the merits of positivity in our parenting. Utilizing words of affirmation is more than just showing our kids with unmerited compliments. To implement this parenting strategy well we have to infuse our interactions, tone, and responses with positivity.
There is some danger to just pouring our compliments without carefully considering the message we are sending to our kids with our comments. We have to be careful about using extreme amounts of praise with our kids. Things to avoid when giving praise is giving excessive praise for completing tasks that come easily, praising things that they cannot control (such as intelligence, looks, etc.), over praising them for doing things they already enjoy, and avoid praise that compares your child to others.
Despite the dangers of over praising the wrong kinds of achievements, positivity in our words with our kids does yield positive parenting results! Supportive parenting looks like warmth, proactive teaching of our kids, inductive discipline, and positive involvement with your kids. When researchers compared the positive style of parenting to more harsh parenting styles they found that positive parenting was associated with fewer behavior problems, mitigated negative impacts of family risk factors (such as socioeconomic disadvantage, stress, etc.).
Positive parenting promotes resilience that can help children to thrive even if they face disadvantages.
Why Do Words of Affirmation Matter?
Words of affirmation make a huge impact on your children and their healthy development! Speaking life, modeling positivity, and encouraging your child in their efforts helps to contribute to their mindset and greatly influences who your child believes they can be. Your words become your child’s inner dialogue, which means that your child internalizes the words that you say about them.
When you say they have grit, are brave, and actions reflect kindness they believe you!
This is a beautiful privilege that we can’t take lightly as the stewards of our children’s hearts. We have to reiterate to them over and over how unique and special our children are. We want the voice they are hearing to be one filled with love, grace, and kindness.
As parents we are helping them fight against the many lies the world wants to tell them about who they are and how they don’t measure up is not easy. We want the positive words we speak over them to drown out the noise the world throws their way.
Studies have shown that negative language has a major impact on emotional, cognitive, and social development of children.
Stanley Coopersmith, in 1967, identified the link between self-esteem and negativity, she notes “indications that in children domination, rejection, and severe punishment result in lowered self-esteem. Under such conditions they have fewer experiences of love and success and tend to become generally more submissive and withdrawn (though occasionally veering to the opposite extreme of aggression and domination)”. When our kids grow up in a critical, harsh, or negative environment their mental health and general well being suffers.
Word of Affirmation Straight from Scripture
God’s word is filled with beautiful promises and words that declare how loved and special each person is! There are so many scriptures you can speak over your children that will affirm both their value and help grow their faith in a God that truly loves them. Here are a few beautiful affirming scriptures to speak over your children:
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; rmale and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
“Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:31 (ESV)
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)
"Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." Matthew 6:25-26
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"
"Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him." Psalm 127:3
Words of Affirmation for Children
Sometimes we need inspiration on how to get started when wanting to speak life over our kids. Here are some ideas on some great ways to communicate love, affirmation, and value to your kids no matter their age:
I am proud of how hard you worked to complete that task.
I love how you went out of your way to show kindness to your friend.
I am so thankful you are a part of our family.
I love how your mind works.
You are so brave to do that task that you were so scared to attempt.
I appreciate your help.
You have a wonderful imagination!
You are an honest person! God loves honesty.
You have grit that will help you accomplish hard tasks in your life.
I am so proud of you!
I love getting to spend time with you.
You are a great friend.
You have a tenderheart.
Sharing shows generosity. That is a great way to be!
God has given you amazing gifts!
You were created for a special purpose.
You are valued and loved.
I love how you never give up!
Your curiosity is inspiring.
You are a person with strong character.
I love watching you play and explore!
God is using you to bless and bring joy to others.
Your smile is contagious.
Your laughter lights up the room.
It is important to every day take time to point out the ways our kids are excelling in effort, character, and also express our genuine love and appreciation for the gift of who they are. We have to be intentional about sharing with our kids how wonderful they are. Our voice needs to be the one that speaks the life that pushes out the voices of negativity and self-doubt that the world is throwing at them.
Creating a routine that reminds you so speak these words of positivity can help you make sure they are being heard in your home. At bedtime and breakfast make a point to say how you see good things growing in your kids. Send them out with love and affirmation and end the day telling them once again that they are valued.
Remember that love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8) so even when you mess up and use a harsher than needed tone or words with your kids, thankfully forgiveness and grace is available for you in your parenting journey. Sharing that you are sorry, asking forgiveness, and stating how much you love them is a great way to recover from those moments our mouths get the best of us. In the end creating a positive home environment is more about intentionality than perfection.
Photo Credit: GettyImages/ThitareeSarmkasat
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page, Blog or follow her on Instagram.