5 kind things to say to your child every day
Research shows caring, empathy, and compassion are present from the very beginning of our lives. However, these traits must be fostered to take root. It’s not enough to tell kids what not to do, we have to show them how to be kind.
Here are five simple phrases to say to your child every day to encourage kindness:
1. You are kind
2. We are lucky to have you
3. You’re a great friend
4. I am grateful for you
5. I love you
As parents, we think a lot about how our children speak to us and how they behave. We correct them when they need discipline and we make sure they use good manners and steer them away from rude behavior. But we may not always pay attention to what we say and how we say it.
Important Reasons Why Tone and Words Should Be More Positive
Here are some important reasons why your tone of voice and the words you use can make your parent-child communication and interactions much more positive and rewarding:
- Your child will be more likely to listen. This is basic logic. What would you prefer—someone who is speaking to you in a harsh or critical tone or someone who’s talking to you in a calm, reasonable, and nice voice? Even if there’s a disagreement or you need to correct something your child is doing, a gentle voice, even if it’s firm, is likely to get more of your child’s attention and she’ll be more likely to listen to what you are saying.
- Being harsh isn’t effective. When you yell or speak aggressively to your child, you’re less likely to get good results and may even harm your relationship. In fact, research shows that yelling may be as harmful as aggressive discipline.1 Sure, your child may listen in the short-term, but if you want your child to develop the skills he needs to regulate his own behavior, speaking nicely is clearly the better way to go.
- Kids learn from our behavior. The surest way to get your child to speak nicely to you is to speak nicely to her. And if you constantly criticize and speak harshly to her? Well, you can guess what you’ll get from that.
- You’ll have a stronger relationship. When you treat your child with respect and kindness, you’ll strengthen your bond. Say “Thank you” and “Please” when you speak to your child, and firmly explain that you expect him to do the same. Treating each other with good manners and respect will bring you closer; mean words and a harsh voice will have the opposite effect.
- Your child will treat friends, teachers, and others in his life with respect. When you use a nice tone of voice with your child at home, she’ll naturally do this at school and in other settings. It won’t be long before those around your child comment on her beautiful manners and a nice way of speaking, and she’ll be proud of these skills, which will carry her into adolescence and beyond. Imagine it: a polite teen who knows how to express herself in a respectful manner! It’s possible when you instill these skills now.