Tender words increase your ability to speak into your kids’ lives during their formative years and beyond.I love to play with Play-Doh with my kids. It’s especially enjoyable to feel the clay being molded and shaped in my hands. As long as Play-Doh is handled and stored well, it remains soft and malleable. However, when it is not properly treated, it becomes brittle and hard. Our words have the same effect on our kids. Harsh words can harden their hearts, while positive things to say to kids, such as words of love and affirmation, will soften them. Tender words increase your ability to speak into your kids’ lives during their formative years and beyond.
1. “Hey, sweetheart, I love You.”
“I love you” never loses its effectiveness when it’s said on a regular basis. Tell your kids you love them. Say it every day; say it several times a day.
2. “So what are your plans for the day?”
This is not just about knowing, but about interest. It means a lot to the kids that Dad cares about what they’re up to and takes the time to hear what they are tackling that day. Find out what their greatest stress is and what they are looking forward to the most. Download the Q & U app to get more questions to ask!
3. “I am so grateful to be your dad.”
Our children need to know how we feel about being their parent. So much is lost when communication breaks down and kids stop relating to their mom or dad. Let them know you are proud and thankful to be associated with them. This communicates that you not only love them but that you like them as well.
4. “Have a great day at school, and don’t forget who you are.”
Your child is growing into his or her identity, his or her sense of self, each and every day. I believe the most important attribute is his or her identity as a child of God. Your family name may be Smith, or Wagner, or Hernandez, but your child’s identity always has been and always will be “Made in the Image of God.” I remind my kids of that every day.
5. Words of Affirmation
Speak affirming truths out loud over your kids—repeated, ingrained affirmation delivered with the firm conviction of someone who loves your children and believes in them. Do this every day; deliver your lines with sincerity, and make them count. Whatever you do, avoid saying these.
Sound off: What affirming things do you say to your kids?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are your plans for tomorrow?”