44 Phrases You Can Use to Encourage Your Kids

Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith is editorial manager of Awana. He and his wife have two daughters, ages 9 and 10, in the Awana T&T club. Jeff has written three curriculum books for Awana.

One of my favorite descriptions of encouragement is “oxygen for the soul.”

Encouraging words have great power. As Mark Twain wrote, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.”

This is also true of our children. The more I encourage my kids, the more motivated, confident and even selfless they become. Encouragement can inspire them to do what’s right, work hard and seek to grow in their walk with Christ.

Yet how many parents spend more time correcting and criticizing kids than encouraging them? I know I’m guilty of this far too often.

If you struggle with verbally encouraging your kids, LifeWay Publishers offers a list of words that parents can use to encourage their children. Most of these phrases can apply to kids of a variety of ages and for a range of situations. I’m going to start referring to this list frequently.

1. I believe in you.

2. Thanks so much for the way you handled that situation.

3. Even though it didn’t work out this time, you tried, and that’s what matters.

4. I really appreciate the way you did that.

5. I like spending time with you.

6. You’re a really cool person.

7. You did a great job putting your toys away.

8. You have a beautiful smile.

9. I love to hear you laugh (or sing or tell a story).

10. I’m so thankful God chose to give you to us.

11. My life would be pretty boring without you.

12. That was a fabulous idea you came up with.

13. I think you did that much better than I could have done it.

14. Way to go!

15. You showed a lot of courage in that situation.

16. Let’s work on it together.

17. I couldn’t have done it without you.

18. That’s awesome!

19. You did the right thing, even when no one was watching; that shows you’re a person of integrity.

20. I’m very proud of you.

21. Hey, thanks.

22. I’m sorry.

23. You’re a lot of fun to be with.

24. I can tell you’ve been working hard.

25. I just love spending time with you.

26. You used good judgment.

27. I appreciate the way you thought that through.

28. Most people wouldn’t have been that smart (determined, focused, wise).

29. I’m so glad you are my child.

30. You really understand how to be a good friend to others.

31. You are just great!

32. Thanks for helping even when I don’t ask.

33. You are a true blessing to me.

34. You did a wonderful job.

35. I love your heart.

36. I’m so glad I get to be your parent.

37. You are so special.

38. I know that wasn’t your favorite thing to do — thanks for your wonderful attitude.

39. Terrific!

40. You are someone who sticks to it.

41. What a kind thing to say.

42. You make me so happy.

43. I knew you could do it.

44. You’re the best!

What phrases of encouragement do you use with your kids or did your dad or mom use with you?

This entry was posted on Friday, May 14th, 2010 at 10:02 pm and is filed under Family time, Parenting. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

3 Responses to “44 Phrases You Can Use to Encourage Your Kids”

  1. Mrs. Lu Says:

    May 22nd, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t like the idea of telling children they are “special”. We have a whole generation of young people who think that they are “more special” than others, and that they are so “special” that they are entitled to things which ought more properly be earned through effort.

    However, telling a person how you admire their actual good character qualities, such as wisdom, valour, honesty, humility, and kindness help develop those qualities in increasing measures.

  2. Raising a Modern-Day Joseph Says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    [...] For more uplifting words to use as you interact with your kids, read this blog post by my colleague titled 44 Phrases to Encourage Your Kids. [...]

  3. Fred Says:

    August 19th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I agree with Mrs. Lu. We need to be careful building the wrong kind of esteem. Christ bids us to die to self and the modern day idea of self -esteem is often detrimental to that slaying of self. Instead of saying you are special or great we probably should say things like God has blessed you with this or that talent . Make sure you use it for God’s glory and not your own for apart from God, you can do nothing.

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About the Authors
Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith is editorial manager of Awana. He and his wife have two children. Jeff has written three curriculum books for Awana.
Kim Anderson
Kim Anderson is a Web copywriter for Awana. She and her husband have daughters in sixth and ninth grade. Kim is a former youth ministry leader at her church who has co-written six books on youth ministry.
Linda Massey Weddle
Linda Weddle is senior U.S. program designer at Awana. She grew up in Awana, her children took part in Awana, and now her grandchildren all are in Awana. Linda is author of How to Raise a Modern-Day Joseph.