Using Our Words To Encourage Our Children
By Angie Ketcham
Ephesians 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to give encouraging words to our children. We must remember that our children’s spirit is fragile and easily influenced, and the words that come out of our mouths can bring life or they can bring destruction. The tongue has the power of life and death. The word of God tells us that we are to choose life by building each other up. It is true that our children are very good at pushing us to our limit. They like to test us to see how far our love will really go. We must be determined that will speak life in the strenuous times and show the unconditional love of Christ by the words that out of our mouths.
According to Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell’s book, “The Five Love Languages of Children”, there are four ways to use your words to affirm your love for your child: Words of Affection and Endearment, Words of Praise, Words of Encouragement, and Words of Guidance.
Words of Affection and Endearment can be relayed to a child through our actions, tone, gentleness of mood, ambiance of care, and physical closeness. Through these actions, your child will connect your feelings for them. It’s not always so much the words you are using, as it is the way you are showing it. It is expressing appreciation for the very being of the child.
Words of Praise differ from words of affection, in that, praise is expressed for what the child does and not who the child is. These words are used for when the child accomplishes a task, expresses positive attitudes and shows good behaviors. Words of praise are more effective when used in appropriate situations and not overused, as the child could perceive them as insincere. Make sure the praise is true and justified.
By definition, the word Encouragement is to instill courage. It is imperative to provide words that life up our children when they have done something new or challenging . Never underestimate the power of encouraging words to a child. Chapman also encourages parents to keep themselves in the best possible health physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, because it takes energy to encourage and uplift our children. When we feel encouraged, we are better able to encourage our children.
Lastly, Words of Guidance help a child to continue in the way that is right in this world. This kind of encouraging takes a little more work to find the things that your child is doing right, but is well worth it in the end. Words of Guidance must be delivered with positive encouragement, not just pointing out the wrongs the child has done or the negative side of decisions that need to be made. Guidance includes the positive side of rules. Although we do need to let them know what they should not do, we need to lead them to the things that they should do. This is shown to them more than just told. In other words, be an example of what you want them to be, not just what you tell them to do.
Just to get started, here are 101 words and phrases you can use to encourage your child in any situation:
Wow! * Way to Go* Super* You’re Special* Outstanding* Excellent*Great* Good* Neat* Well Done* Remarkable* I Knew You Could Do It*I’m Proud of You* Fantastic* Superstar*Nice Work*Looking Good* You’re On Top of It*Beautiful*Now You’re Flying*You’re Catching On*Hooray for You* Now You Got it*You’re Incredible* Bravo* You’re Fantastic*You’re On Target*You’re On Your Way*How Nice*How Smart!*Good Job* You Make My Heart Smile*That’s Incredible*Hot Dog*Dynamite*You’re Beautiful* You’re Unique*Nothing Can Stop You Now*Good For You*I like You*You’re Darling*You’re a Winner*Remarkable Job*Beautiful Work*Spectacular* You’re Spectacular*You’re Precious*Great Discovery*You’ve Discovered The Secret*You Figured It Out*Fantastic Job*Hip Hip Hooray* You Bless Me* Magnificent*Marvelous*Terrific*You’re Important*You Got Skills*Your Weave is Unbeweavable* Phenomenal*You’re Sensational*You Brighten My Day*Super Work*Creative Job*Super Job*Awesome Job*Exceptional Performance* You’re a Real Trooper*You’re Responsible* You Are Exciting*You Learned Right*What an Imagination*What a Good Listener*You Are Fun* You’re Growing Up* You Tried Hard*You Care*Beautiful Sharing* Outstanding Performance* You’re a Good Friend*I Trust You*You Made an Important Decision For Yourself*You Mean a lot to Me*You Make Me Laugh* You Brighten My Day*I Respect You*You Mean The World To Me* That’s Correct*You’re a Joy*You’re a Cool Kid*You Made My Day*That’s The Best!*A Big Hug*A Big Kiss*God Has Big Plans For You* You’re Important to God* Jesus Loves You*I Love You!