I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Mostly because I make them too lofty, which means they get squashed as quickly as they came and leave me feeling frustrated and discouraged.
The past few years I have set a few goals I wanted to accomplish throughout the new year, but most of them included this “one word” craze. This year, however, is a little different. While I’m going with one overall theme word – purposeful – I am also looking for ways that I can tangibly live it out in my daily life.
As I began to break down how the word purposeful would look in each area of my life, parenting kept coming to mind. As a work-at-home, homeschooling Mom often times I forget to live in the moment and really enjoy my kids and family. Sometimes my temper flares and words leave my mouth before they go through the full filtering process. Sadly, I have said things that are not productive to my own family. But this year will be different. As I am committing to be purposeful with my words in 2015, I hope you will join me too.
7 Phrases Your Kids NEED to Hear You Say
Here are 7 Phrases Your Kids Need to Hear You Say this year (and every year).
(I have a free printable at the end of this post that you can print off and use to remind you of these 7 phrases!)
1. I Love You
While this may go without saying, I often realize it’s been too long since I’ve told my kids I love them. Yes, showing them is important, but they need to hear those words actually come out of my mouth. I have one child who will tell me 40 times a day that she loves me “so, so, super, duper much” and it just melts my heart. They need to hear it and they need to know we love them!
2. I’m Sorry and I was wrong
Oh man! It just got serious. How many times a day do I mess up? I can’t even count them. But one thing I don’t do, is tell them I was wrong in the way I acted or what I said. I also don’t say I’m sorry when I’ve done something wrong against my kids. They need to know we parents mess up too. That we are only human. That we need forgiveness too. They need to know we are sinners in need of grace, just like them.
Our kids need to hear us say “Yes!” Yes, I will play tea party with you. Yes, I will look at birds out the window with you. Yes, I will watch that movie with you for 1,000th time! YES, we can have ice cream for dinner! YES! Now, I realize we can’t always say yes, because we do need to keep their best interest in mind. But, my vow is to be more present in their lives this year and that begins with saying “Yes!” even when it’s not convenient for me.
If you’re going to be a parent, you will also have to say the word “No” on many occasions. While I don’t want to get into the habit of just saying “no” so they will leave me alone, I also know it’s important to have boundaries and be consistent. That is key in a child’s life. So this year my “no’s” will be fewer, but more intentional.
5. You are worth it!
Parenting is hard work. It’s a 24/7/365 “job” that doesn’t get vacations or sick pay. But, my kids are worth it. My kids are worth the sleepless nights and tough times that require discipline. They are my greatest blessing and my most difficult endeavor. I like my sleep, so it’s difficult to tell them they are worth it when all I want to do is take a nap. But, they need to know that when they are sick I will always be there for them – even when it seems impossible to keep my eyes open another minute. They will always be worth it!
6. I am proud of you
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed the opportunity to tell one of my kids I am proud of them. Whether it’s for something they accomplished at church (Scripture memorization) or on a video game level they have been working so hard to beat. They need to know I’m proud of them for how they patiently helped their younger sibling. I am proud of them for making good choices when it would be easier to give up and do it wrong. It’s easy to say I’m proud when they finish their school work with straight A’s, but it’s more difficult for me to praise them on other tasks. Kids need to hear they are the pride of their parents. Kids need praise more than criticism. So let them hear it…from YOU!
7. God is enough
Our family has been through some of the most difficult trials of our 11+ years in the past 6 months. My husband was asked to resign from his position at our church just a few weeks after we announced we were pregnant with baby #5. Shortly after that announcement, we found out our precious baby no longer had a heartbeat. While we are still uncertain of where God is leading us, we rest in the fact that God is ALWAYS enough.
He has provided for us in ways we never expected. He has also shown us that relying on Him brings about a peace that we never knew existed. As we go through these trials together as a family, we are being very open and honest with our kids. But our actions and reactions to certain situations is speaking volumes to them. Just the other day one of our middles told me, “It’s okay, Mom. God is taking care of us.” What a sweet reminder that how we respond to even the tiniest little thing is sinking in to their little brains.
What is something your kids need to hear you say in the new year?
Need a Reminder?
We can all be forgetful. One way we can remind ourselves to continue to say these important phrases to our kids is by posting them. Post them in your bathroom, your bedroom, or your kitchen. Post them somewhere that will help you remember to say these words to your children regularly. Just click on the image below to download the PDF and print it off!
Brittany at Equipping Godly Women
Great list! I say some of these constantly, but others I don’t say enough. Sharing!
I think there are some of these we all need to say more! Thanks for stopping by and sharing! Blessings ~ Annette
“God is enough” perfect for me to be sharing with my kiddos right now. My husband has been dealing with sickness for the last several months (nothing terribly serious, adrenal fatigue type symptoms) and they don’t always understand why he’s not getting better and why we aren’t doing a whole lot outside of the house right now. Thanks for the reminder!
I am so sorry your husband has been ill, Janeen. I can relate completely. And no, they don’t understand it all, which makes our “job” just that much harder sometimes. You and your family will be in my prayers. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings ~ Annette
Great list! I’m reprinting them for our church bulletin. Sounds like God has allowed us to be on similar paths: I have four babies already with him waiting for me and my husband was also asked to leave a ministry but it was just following one of my miscarriages. YES God is enough and He is faithful!
Thank you Elaine and thanks for sharing!! Blessings ~ Annette
I would amend “I’m proud of you” to “I’m pleased with you,” because I don’t want my daughter to think pride is a good thing. The other suggestions are all wonderful. I say, “I love you” to my husband multiple times a day, but sometimes I forget to tell my daughter because she doesn’t know how to say it back. She knows a lot of other words, so I will practice “I love you” with her more often.
Sharon ~ I’m not sure how old your daughter is, but we taught our kids to say “I Love You” in sign language long before they could talk. It’s one you have to help them with because of the coordination it takes, but my 4yo still shows the sign to me whenever she goes with her Daddy to lunch or I drop her off in class at church or just randomly around the house (she’s our lovie girl). Say often and they will get it!! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
My ‘I love you’ goes further when I tickle my son or choose to build Legos. My ‘yes’ speaks louder when all distractions (mainly tech) are put aside when playing house with my daughter.
Thanks for a fabulous list!
So true Julie!! Speaking their “Love Language” is so important!! Thanks for stopping by. Blessings ~ Annette
Thank you for this reminder. I have found that as my children get older I slip into the thoughts, “Oh, they know.” As with adults, we all need to hear these words many times every day.
Amen Rebekah!! My Dad passed away three years ago and I so wish I could hear those words again! Say them loud and say them often. Thanks for stopping by. Blessings ~ Annette
These are wonderful things… and our children DO need to hear them… .and hear them quite often. I am so sorry for all your family is going through… and so glad that you have each other and that your precious little ones have been hearing the things you have been teaching them. May God continue to carry you through the difficulties and meet your every need.
Thank you so much for your kind words. Blessings ~ Annette
I hope your path will be filled of joy and faithful people. The world is becoming more about kind words and harsh behavior. Hope that only honest people enter your life and GOD protect you and your family.