Awhile back, my mom sent me a list that reminded her of certain things I say to my kids. I printed it and put it up on my wall because while there were some things I already did say regularly, there were plenty others I wanted to start saying and say more of. I had hopes that these wouldn’t only be things I said when I’m being mindful, but eventually they would become part of my natural vernacular, even when I’m not at my most centered and grounded.
I have also practiced using many of these toward myself as I’ve worked to change the soundtrack and improve my own inner parent/child dynamic.
While I’m certainly not a master of saying the right thing at the right time, I am becoming more practiced and I’m seeing a positive impact for the intention and focus on improving my words. (Yay!) I’ve since lost the source of the list, made some edits, and added several of my own, including some questions that always seem to spark good self-discovery and precious conversations with my little ones.
What really warms my heart is when we catch them saying these things to each other and when they say them to us!
- You are kind.
- You are creative.
- You are important.
- I like being with you.
- You have interesting/good ideas.
- When you make a mistake, I still love you.
- I made a mistake.
- We can learn from our mistakes.
- What did you learn?
- You matter.
- You make a difference in my life.
- You are learning/You are growing.
- Growing is hard work.
- What are you most proud of?
- I’m proud of you for ____.
- What do you think?
- I’m listening.
- Thank you.
- I love you.
- I believe you.
- I believe in you.
- You are resourceful.
- You can disagree and still be respectful.
- You can change your mind.
- I appreciate you.
- What does your heart tell you?
- As a parent, my job is to keep you safe and healthy. (What’s my job?)
- As a child, your job is to learn how life works. (What’s your job?)
- Sometimes I will say no.
- Someone else’s poor behavior is not an excuse for your own.
- We are responsible for our own behaviors.
- What are you most grateful for today?
- Emotions can be powerful.
- We can choose our actions.
- Your words matter.
- So do mine.
- Your body is your own.
- What is your body telling you?
- Use your words.
- Try again. (In response to expressing frustration or a demand.)
- Would you like to make a request? (In response to whining/complaint.)
- You are beautiful.
- You are wise.
- You are capable of making healthy choices.
- I have fun with you.
- Are you being kind?
- How can you be more respectful?
- What will you do to be safe?
- How are you being responsible?
- When we are kind and generous, life is kind and generous.
- I’m sorry.
BeYou are good. (We are not our behaviors.)
- Our hands are not for hitting (feet…for kicking, etc.).
- No, thank you. (Sometimes this one shows up with an exclamation point! :))
- I love you. (Worth repeating!!)
- I forgive you.
What will you add to the list? Comment below or send me an email.
Our words matter. May this post serve as inspiration for you to explore your soundtrack and pin some new lingo on your tongue and on your heart. ♥