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"You Are Loved!" 14 Positive Affirmations that Show Children You Care

Words really do have power...and positive language is  the most powerful of all.

Kind and loving words (sometimes referred to as “positive affirmations”) are critical to help every child build self-esteem and confidence, but for some children, heartwarming and positive language seems to feed their very souls. Luckily, saying kind things also happens to be pretty easy (words are free after all, and it takes less than a second to say “I love you”).

Here are 14 simple ways to let your child know how special they are—and how much they are loved:

(Consider this your “self-esteem checklist.”)

1. When you pick your favorite little person up from school, tell them how glad you are to see them. Big smiles and kisses (along with, “I’m SO happy to see you!”) can get the evening off to a great start. Bonus: It helps YOU let go of YOUR day by starting the evening with a little love!

2. Over dinner, make a point of telling your child how much you missed hearing them laugh while you were at work.

3. Use pet names. No matter how silly pet names sound (Jillsy-Willsy, Jackalope, Peachy Pop), they let a young child know that they have a super special place in your life.

4. Put a smile on your munchkin’s face first thing in the morning by waking them up with funny terms of endearment, like, “Good morning, glorious sunshine! Hello, my honey muffin sugar plum!” And yes, go ahead and cover that sweet face with plenty of kisses.

5. When you notice your child doing something kind or selfless, praise them for it. “I love the way you just shared that coloring book with your brother. That was so kind!” Noticing and talking about your child’s kind actions goes a long way in encouraging them to keep it up. Kindness begets kindness!

6. Be your child’s unabashed cheerleader, no matter the situation. Phrases like, “Of all the girls in the whole wide world, you are the very best one for me! I am one lucky dad to have a girl like you!” will show your little one that they are incredibly precious to you.

7. Write your child love notes—and get creative by leaving them in different spots to try to surprise her! Draw a heart on a sticky note and put it on her bathroom mirror, write a few X’s and O’s on a small piece of paper and slip it into her coat pocket, or write a surprise message in chalk on the driveway for her to discover in the morning.

Photo by Jakob / Stocksy / 586413
Photo by Jakob / Stocksy

8. Let him overhear you saying nice things about him to other people. Modeling the behavior we want to see in our kids is one of the most effective parenting tools out there.

9. At bedtime (or really anytime when it’s quiet and the two of you are snuggled up together), tell your child the things that you like about her. “Can I tell you something I really love about you? You are a caring person with a kind heart. I love how you love a good story, because I love reading books with you.” You can also turn this time into “positive affirmation time.”

Grown-ups sometimes use kind and loving affirmations to reinforce kind and loving attitudes towards themselves. (There’s plenty of evidence that affirmations can have a positive impact on our spirits!) You can do this with your little peach, too! Pick a phrase like, “I am kind and capable and strong,” and have her repeat it to herself a few or several times. Not only will she feel loved by you, but will learn how to say kind and loving words to herself. That will come in handy as she faces new challenges and navigates the sometimes choppy waters of childhood—and beyond.

10. Read storybooks about love together. Here are some of our favorites: Guess How Much I Love You; No Matter What; I Love You, Stinky Face; I Love You the Purplest; and Love You Forever.

11. Make up a song for your child—and sing it to her often. You can use a familiar tune and create your own words, or simply choose a classic oldie (but a goody) like “You Are My Sunshine,” “What a Wonderful World,” or “You’ve Got a Friend.”

12. Write a poem for your child and read it out loud. (Kids especially love silly poems!)

13. Record a loving message to your child on your smartphone and play it for her at the end of the day. Conversely, he can record a loving message on your phone—for you! Love goes both ways, and kids love expressing it, too. This one also reinforces the fact that we all need loving words.

14. Bookend your days with love. In the morning, tell him you love him before you head out the door and tell him again at bedtime before you turn off the light.

Displaying affection daily is a habit worth developing! Showering your child with words of love not only expresses all the love you feel for her, but can help her develop a positive, loving outlook on life. We can all use that!
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