Your words matter. A lot.Jan 17, 2019
Research has shown time and time again what powerful impact words have on outcomes. Both positive and negative language have the transformative power to make situations better or worse. This is true for people of all ages and the effects can be found both from self-talk and the language used around you.
Positive language helps children succeed and thrive. Positive self-talk helps teachers have patience and confidence.
We need to be intentional with the language we use with children. We want to empower, encourage, and validate them. But let’s be honest, sometimes we use the same phrases over and over, using the same affirming words with each child. Which essentially dilutes the message!
Because they’re just so darn cute, it’s easy to comment on kids’ appearance. “Hi, pretty girl!”, “You’re so handsome!”, “I love your braids!”, “You look so cute!”, etc. Children are beautiful and we want them to know it! But it can be easy to overemphasize appearance and they need to know, starting at a young age, that their value and importance are not wound up in the way they look. (Can I hear an “amen!” ladies?)
Set out to make a list of encouraging affirmations to use with your children. Here are some that you might find helpful.
- You are so strong.
- I hear you.
- You are very observant.
- You are helpful.
- You are loved.
- You are patient.
- You are such a healthy eater.
- Your brain is amazing.
- You are trying so hard. That is awesome! (This is a good one for when they’re frustrated)
- You are creative.
- You make me smile.
- You are so good at communicating. (This is a good one for when they’re upset)
- You are a great friend.
- It is wonderful how energetic you are.
- It is important to tell someone how you feel. Thank you. (This is a good one for when they’re upset)
- You are such a great problem solver.
- You are safe. (This is a good one for when they’re upset)
- You are so talented.
- I love learning about who you are.
- You are important.
- You have a kind heart.
- You are very focused.
- You are capable.
- You are a good decision-maker. (This makes the most sense to use after offering a choice)
- You are a great learner.
- I’m listening.
- You are a good listener.
- You are interesting.
- I believe in you.
- I love you.
And guess what? You can say these exact same statements to yourself… and your colleagues.
Fill your conversations, both with yourself and with others, with encouraging, kind words and see what happens next!
Take a moment to add phrases you use in the comments below. Let’s learn from each other.
Always remember, be kind to kids,
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