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!