Getting stuck in a habit of unoriginal responses to our children is something that happens to most parents. It always seems my kids want to show me something in the busiest of moments. It’s when I’m getting dinner ready or getting us all out the door for the day and suddenly they feel it’s the perfect time to need to tell me something or showcase their latest artwork or lego project. In these moments it’s so easy to respond with a simple “good job” and move on, but what if we were more intentional with our responses? When we choose to be more creative with our responses we can use these moments to teach positive language skills and reinforce lessons our children will remember their entire life. Let’s talk about some examples;
Instead of saying “Good job” try saying “Wow, I can see that you worked really hard on that and it took a lot of patience! Your hard work really shows” Another encouraging and thought provoking response would be something like, “That’s really incredible! Can you tell me about it?” By asking an open ended question we give children the opportunity to share and use language they may have not had the opportunity to use yet. These conversations can also create a comfort level that leads to a different topic that would have been otherwise hard to start.
We can also become very routine in reminding our children that we love them. Try mixing it up with phrases like “You are a really important part of our family,” or “you make me so happy.” What better way for our children to start their days then by being reminded that they are valuable and they make us smile? When we teach them the importance of these positive interactions they will be able to carry them on their own lives! The power of combining positive affirmations with our responses is something that is truly valuable; the words we use have the power to affect the confidence and self-esteem of our children as they grow into adults!