Shaping our children’s lives for the better includes guiding them on how to react when things don’t go their way, teaching them to learn and improve from their mistakes, and showing them how to overcome failures and challenges.
While opportunities for these life lessons will hopefully be far and few between, there are positive phrases you can use in everyday interactions to impart important values. Ahead, we share three key phrases that can help influence your child’s mindset, and your relationship for the better!
#1 “I still believe in you.”
Learning to make room for your child’s mistakes is part and parcel of parenthood. As your child grows up, there may be many occasions where you’re disappointed by their actions and behaviour. While you don’t have to condone or excuse their behaviour, being supportive through your belief that you “still believe in them”, will help them understand that it’s okay to make mistakes, and encourage your child to learn and do better.
#2 “It’s okay if you don’t have it all figured out now.”
Getting into a good school, scoring well academically, securing a good job… Perhaps the only thing more stressful than the weight of these expectations is being uncertain of what’s to come. We’ve all experienced the anxiety of facing huge changes, feeling unsure of ourselves or where we’re headed. And even though the little ones may be feeling uncertain on a much smaller scale, it can still be a lot for young shoulders to carry.
Trying to control every aspect of life is unrealistic. So beyond emphasising the importance of good planning, teach them that it really is okay if they don’t have everything figured out.
#3 “Thank you for trusting me with this.”
As children grow up, they may lean towards friends and external influences for guidance instead of their parents. A major factor that plays a part in creating this distance could be the desire to avoid getting a lecture or negative consequences. But having a supportive parent to confide in makes a world of a difference to a troubled child.
No matter how difficult it is to listen and accept what your child has to say, know that having their trust is a privilege that has to be earned. It all starts from your choice: to be an authoritative figure ready to teach your child a lesson they’ll never forget, or a trusted source of comfort in their time of need. The latter creates room for you to give advice without pushing your child away, and opens them up to deeper discussions and future conversations.