15 ways to say “ I love you” to your child
This is worth a repeat from last year. So here is a collection of ways to say “I love you” to your child or teen or young adult. I have all 3 age groups living with me, with my youngest being 12, and my oldest living with me being 25. Here we go. Let’s dive right in..
1. I admire how you....
Pause and notice what your child is doing and how and express it.
Instead of “ you are so smart” say “ I admire how diligently you do your homework”.
Instead of “ you are a great artist” say “ I admire your creativity in this picture”.
2. Thank you
There are so many little moments to express gratitude. It is scientifically proven that when we increase
gratitude we increase our happiness! So this is to your benefit!!
You would thank a friend if they helped you in the kitchen, wouldn’t you?
3. I like you !
Say what you like about them. If they are not so likable at the moment think of something you like about
them. For example: is she compassionate to animals even though she fights with siblings?
Say “ I like how compassionate you are to animals”. Or “ I like your spontaneity”
4. Tell me more!
This one is so good with preteens and teens. Especially if you don’t like what they just did.
For example: my oldest son, while he was still in NJ, went camping in the winter , ....without a tent. He was so excited to tell me on the phone and all I could think is what you are thinking right now. “ No tent? In the winter? Thats stupid” . But I caught myself and said “ Oh? No tent? Tell me about it ”. And a wonderful conversation followed. I am glad I didn’t ruin the conversation by bursting out my thoughts. Often we rush through a conversation. We need to stop and listen.
5. I’m sorry
It’s OK to apologize. We are not always right . They imitate us when they are younger , and when they
are teens they will learn from you how to repair and reconnect after mistakes. You are teaching by modeling.
For example: when I picked up my 12 year old daughter from her friends' house , I was communicating with her friends parents ,
but hadn’t told her when I was coming and she was quite upset. “ I’m sorry I didn’t tell you”.
6. You are great at...
This is not an empty praise. Be a detective and find out what they are good at! I had to learn to praise my youngest for using computer programs . I would prefer he play outside more of course, but he’s such a quick learner when it comes to computers and games.
No one likes cold commands. “ Clean your room “ , “Move your shoes” . "Let’s" , builds a powerful feeling of connectedness. When children feel connected they are more likely to cooperate. And for your teens messy room...?? “Let’s clean together!” I dare you :)
There’s a beautiful picture in the Bible of God being like a shepherd who puts his arm around us and guides us back gently . What a beautiful example of gentle parenting! I hope these tips encourage you and guide you to respond differently to your children. The way we speak to them directly influences their self esteem, their sense of value and belonging. We can encourage and empower or discourage and damage. If you are really courageous , go and ask your child where you can improve! I have asked all 6 and I’m continually learning. Here is a scripture that you can apply: “I thank my God every time I think of you.” Philippians 1:3
8) You are not your mistake
Were you labeled as a child? Did that make you feel good or bad? Heather Paris says, "Labels are for soup cans” and rightly so. I totally agree.
Mistakes happen. We all make them. View those moments as growing opportunities and learning experiences. Dr Green and many other experts say that children want to behave well and are good kids, they are just lacking skills. When you see it through this lens, you will approach your child very differently and find a way to teach the skill needed. Your child is NOT -an underachiever-lazy-a bum-a monster-....fill in the blank. Separate the child from the mistake!
9) It was very kind of you to….
Too often we focus on the negative in our daily life. In fact in a survey 80% of what comes out of our mouth towards our children on any given day is negative!
I asked one of my clients to write a thankfulness journal about her children, to help her reset her mindset. She found it even more powerful to write it in the morning as it set the tone for the day. Write it to set your mind , then speak it !
Keep the positive in the forefront. Offer kindness and receive kindness.
10) You make me smile
Parenting is not all joy and happiness. It’s hard , messy and can be exhausting . Be present and aware and look for those special moments. And tell them when they make you smile!
11) What do you think?
That’s a big one!!
Encourage curiosity . Ask them questions. HEAR what they have to say and don’t be quick to judge - correct or educate. Especially when you disagree. Moms, take a deep breath, and zip your lips if necessary. Or just say ”mh”. :)
I've gotten much better at this but still have a lot of learning to do. Listening to them and what they have to say is quite empowering and makes them feel valued.
Btw: in my house they have permission to tell me when I interrupt them.
12) I like being with you
This makes them feel accepted and loved and gives them a sense of belonging.
They live in such a competitive world. Give them a space to be just themselves. Without an agenda.
13) Yes you can!
Don’t let your fear and worries cloud their thinking . Be an encourager. Show support! Let them explore and try new things. Not necessarily those on your agenda for your child. And don’t do for them what they can do for themselves.
14) Good night! Sweet dreams.
Sounds trivial? Silly? We so often get caught up in our stressed , busy life and forget what really matters. Tell your teens too!
And last but not least….
15) I love you!
To the moon and back. You can never say that enough. They can never hear it enough.
I never heard it from my parents! Yes that’s the truth.
The list was inspired by Anna Seawald, the below picture was designed by Kelly Hutcheson.
Have fun with it!
If you are struggling with your child and need one on one help , reach out to me. I’d love to help you find a different perspective and fall in love with your child again!
Let me close with a quote by Barbara Coloroso
“ Because they are children, and for no other reason they have dignity and worth, simply because they are"
You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.
Until next time, Isabelle
Call me for a 20 minute free coaching call. I would love to help you with your struggles concerning your teens and tweens. #732-331-2246