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Top 5 things to say to your child

How you speak to your child matters. Use the right phrases and say the right things to allow them to grow into smart and confident adults. Build trust in your relationship with your child and see your child blossom.

Words can be extremely powerful; they act like an elixir, an instant pick-me-up. If rightly used they serve as a magic potion, and influence people to change the course of their lives. Words touch souls and become a reason for their improvement. Words when rightly spoken can do wonders.

I realised the power of words when I began teaching. I noticed that my words held a phenomenal power and I could use them to motivate, students. One student, in particular, needed special attention. She had a troubled family history and I could see that she felt neglected and uncared for. It reflected in her whole persona which in turn affected her academic growth. I felt for that child and I wanted to help. My pursuit took me to the school library, where I found this book (I forget the name), which discussed how the use of specific phrases could reinforce confidence in a child.

I made note of the ones that I thought would work, and voila, they did better than my expectation. I share these life-changing phrases with you. Try them on your children, but let the words come from the heart; mean every word you say.

I believe you can

This particular child was a boarder, she'd lost her mother, her father had remarried and she was moved into the boarding school. She had no visitors and I was told, she stayed back in the hostel during short vacations. She was not wanted and she felt shunned. The mental and emotional trauma had taken its toll on her. She was inattentive, shirked work and referred to as a dullard. The pain in her eyes could be read.

I sat with her during 'prep', the after-school study time for boarding students, and gently nudged her into doing her homework. She was just sitting with her notebooks, totally disinterested. I said, "let me help you, I'm sure you can do it". She started doing her work, there were a few errors, but she tried hard to correct her mistakes, when I blurted the magic words 'I believe you can'. It had an unexpected effect that surprised me too. From then on, she was eager to finish her work and receive praise.

Children need that reassurance that they can do things. They want to be told that you have faith in them. It boosts their confidence and they work towards standing up to your expectations. If you find yourself caught in a similar situation, be patient and let your child see the trust you have in their abilities. Your words can ignite fresh passion in them and make them give it their hundred per cent.

You'll figure things out

There is tremendous pressure on kids today. Trying to figure out what they want to grow up to be or want from life, is one of their biggest challenges. Should they take the science stream or should they opt for commerce? Should they take a gap year or appear for the competitive exams. The dilemmas are aplenty, but there is just one right answer to each of them.

The problem is they haven't figured out, what they want. Give them time and a patient hearing. Tell them your perspective, your apprehensions as well as things that you are certain and confident of. However, don't force your choices on them, listen to what they want. Counsel them, but let them figure out things for themselves.

Discuss things with them, help them explore options, let them list down things they want from life, let them answer how they are going to achieve those, discuss plans and alternative options, discuss what they like and dislike. Tell them you'll assist them in figuring things out. be accessible to your kids, at all times and help them figure out life.

Not being able to figure out things can be quite frustrating. Let your children know that it takes time, but they'll soon have it all together. They need to know that in time, things will work out just fine.

You are special

Have you noticed how praise and validation can fill you with positive energy? A good appraisal from the boss can make you feel upbeat for the entire week. Hearing others say good things to you/about you, are a great confidence booster.

Children are no different, they feel the same as adults do. Praise them, praise their initiatives; notice the effort they put doing things; it may be insignificant to you, but it's effort nonetheless. Acknowledging your child's actions is a good way to encourage and motivate them. It is called 'noticing the good'.

You can take this to a different level, by highlighting a special something that you notice in your child. It could be a flair for singing or painting or writing. Your words of praise could be just the inspiration that they need. It could lead them to experiment and practicing more, to gain perfection.

So many decades have gone by, but I still remember Mrs William, my class five teacher, and her words to me, "Juana, the narration was brilliant". It compelled me to do better, each time I took to the stage. Somewhere, she was instrumental in the career paths I chose.

Thank you for opening your heart out to me

How often do children open up and be honest with their parents, about their feelings, their mistakes, their errors of judgements, of lies that they said, of the wrongs that they did… Children generally hide stuff from parents. You need to be a parent whom your child can trust. Your child doesn't have to be scared of coming to you with the truth.

Maintain an open relationship with your child, so they don't keep secrets from you. What they tell you might sometime frighten you, disappoint you, make you angry, but know that the child is trusting you and so telling you their darkest secret. The child is seeking answers, perhaps help and guidance.

You should be your child's confidant, if you show anger or disappointment you'll close those gates of trust forever. Let them know they did the right thing by confiding in you, and then look for ways and solutions to help your child overcome those odds. Don't shame or forsake your child when they are at their weakest. You need to stand by them and show them their strength.

I (we) love you

How often do we tell our children that we love them? Do you know that children need to hear it said, as much as experience the love that comes with the parent and child bond? Words have more magic, words are more powerful. Hug your children often and let them know that you will always love them.

Your assertion of love provides them with an invisible shield – that protects them and makes them stand on this unshakeable pedestal of absolute love. They thrive in the knowledge that you will always stand by them. They aren't fearful of taking calculated (healthy) risks because they know you have their back. They aren't apprehensive about not measuring up and just be themselves.

As parents, we should allow our children to be. Let them have the freedom and the occasion to try things. Let them face setbacks, and learn to get back on their feet and succeed. It is the biggest gift you can give them. Learn to say the right things to your child.

Did you like what you just read? Go ahead, share it with others. Do you have your own stories to share? We'd like to hear them to.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: Neeru Bhatt07 Aug 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

Motivating and encouraging the children is really an art and very necessary for their overall development.

It is also true that when they see that the parents are talking to them like friends, they open up and do not hide their deficiencies or problems and rather disclose them frankly.

Author: Umesh11 Aug 2018 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

The mind of children is like a blank slate. Whatever the elders talk or behave it gets imprinted there.

It requires a great psychological and practical insight to deal with the minds of children. They are to be treated in a balanced manner. If we beat them, they will be afraid of us and may start hiding their deficiencies. If we physically harm them too much there is a danger that they may go into depression or become introvert.

At the same time giving them too many facilities and too much freedom can spoil them and they may become good for nothing.

So communication with children is to be carried out within the above premises.

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