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20 Things You Should Say Often to Your Children

As parents, we are responsible for teaching our children to be well adjusted and productive members of society.  Many life lessons must be taught to accomplish this goal; many bits of wisdom must be shared by parents to guide their children well.  Here are 20 of the most important things parents should say to their children . . . and say them often to reinforce the message.

1.      You are loved!  (Variations:  I love you, your dad and I love you, etc.)

2.      You are a good boy/girl!

3.      I am so proud of you!

4.      Your opinion is important to me.  What do you think about ________________?

5.      Here are my thoughts:_______________________.  Let’s find a compromise between what you want and what I want.  Ok?

6.      Can we share ______________?

7.      Please?

8.      Thank you!

9.      What are your options here?

10.   What is important to you?

11.   What are your goals here?

12.   Are your choices going to help you achieve your goals?

13.   What do you think will happen if you do that?

14.   Is that the right thing to do?

15.   Would you feel ok if everyone knew you’d done that?

16.   How would you feel if you were in his/her shoes?

17.   Shall we go help _______________?

18.   What would you like to do today to be of service to someone?

19.   Why do you think that happened?

20.   What can you do to fix that?

Numbers 1-3 above are intended to bolster children’s self-esteem and nurture the bond between parent and child.

Numbers 4-8 above are intended to give children a sense that they have some control over their circumstances, bolster their self-esteem, help them feel valued and validated, and teach them cooperative social skills.

Numbers 9-16 above are intended to provide children with a framework for proper decision-making.   These increase children’s self-knowledge, provide an ethical compass, and teach empathy.

Numbers 17-18 above are intended to teach empathy and inspire acts of service.

Numbers 19-20 above are intended to help children with problem solving.  Number 20 additionally encourages children to display initiative in solving problems.

When parents say the 20 things above to their children, and say them with frequency, their children will reap the many benefits as well adjusted and productive members of society as they become adults.

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