Do you ever get tired of thinking of different ways to use encouraging words without repeating “Wow, good job!” over and over? Do you feel like you’re always saying “watch out!” and “don’t do that!” instead? Research shows that praise and encouragement can help your child’s emotional and physical health, now and for the rest of their lives. Try these creative ways to sprinkle more positive and encouraging words into your child’s day.
Start a whisper campaign
“Psssst. Hey, did you hear? Let me tell you a secret! Don’t tell anyone, but our son is doing an amazing job being kind to the dog!”
Have you ever tried to quietly mutter something to your partner while your child seems totally absorbed in play in the next room, and realized that those little ears heard exactly what you said? Children have an amazing way of perking up whenever there’s a secret to uncover. Make sure those little ears hear something kind and supportive as you whisper some encouraging words to another family member (pets are fine too.)
Put those encouraging words in writing
What’s more exciting than opening an envelope with your name on it? Okay, as you get older, it’s more like to be a property tax bill and less likely to be a birthday party invitation, but remember when everything in an envelope was something awesome?
Write something sweet on a piece of paper, and place it in an envelope. While you’re at it, write a bunch, and hide them around the house, or give them out on days when your family needs a little sunshine.
Some examples of encouraging words:
“I love to see your face every morning.”
“Your hugs are the best!”
“I’m amazed at how you focus when you practice piano!”
“When you were a baby…”
Children love to hear stories about themselves. If you have pictures and memories to share from your child’s babyhood, your child will have a glimpse of himself as you see him: so precious, and so worthwhile, no matter what kind of difficulty you go through together.
Spread the word
As children get older and learn about how other people think, they start to worry about their reputations. If you have something kind or admiring you want to say about your child, try putting those encouraging words on blast!
“I’m going to send a message to Grandma to tell her what a great job you did unloading the dishwasher!”
“Wow, look at this homework! I’m going to take a picture to show my friend Heather.”
Fill in the blanks
If your child has started to learn to read a little, you can ask them to guess letters to figure out the answer to some encouraging words, such as “I love it when you __________” or “Thank you so much for ________.”
Every day has challenges, and you will have to ask your child to hold up, slow down, wait, and try again. Add some extra encouraging words to balance them out, and watch your child’s face light up.
For more creative ideas, follow my Facebook page: Creative and Connected Parenting.