Looking for words of encouragement to use with your kids? Use these positive phrases to build them up and ignite their inner confidence!
We live in an increasingly stressful and chaotic world, and our kids are not immune to its effects.
But fortunately, we can do something about it.
While we can’t control what happens outside of our homes, we can control what happens on the inside. It’s there that we can support our kids in a way that arms them with emotional resilience. It’s there that we can build the mental strength they need to face their world with confidence.
And it’s there that we can instill in our kids a strong sense of self.
But not in the way society tells us to.
Up until recently, many parents gave in to the unrealistic idea that a parent’s biggest job is to make sure their kids feel awesome. All the time.
But in reality, that doesn’t build confidence, and it doesn’t teach our kids who they really are or what they’re truly capable of.
So what does?
A basic understanding that every child needs 3 things:
When we understand these basic needs, we can use praise and positive words that uplift our kids, rather than flatter them. We can offer meaningful encouragement that helps our kids feel loved, rather than entitled.
And we can feel confident that we’re building self-esteem, rather than raising praise-junkies.
127 WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FOR KIDS
There are a lot of phrases on this list! So to make it easy for you to find exactly what will help you most, I’ve grouped them into sections.
Here’s what you’ll find in this article:
- Positive Things To Say To Kids To Promote Love And Belonging
- Encouraging Phrases To Motivate Kids To Try Their Best
- Words Of Encouragement To Help Kids Build Inner Confidence
- Positive Phrases For Kids Who Are Having A Bad Day
- Words Of Encouragement To Support Kids During Difficulty
- Encouraging Words To Say To Kids To Promote A Growth Mindset
- Bonus: Do Words Of Encouragement Really Build Self-Esteem?
- Bonus: Tips For Using These Words Of Encouragement
- Bonus: How To Squeeze More Encouraging Words Into Your Child’s Day
Positive Things To Say To Kids To Promote Love And Belonging
- I love being your parent.
- I’m so glad you’re in my life.
- I love your hugs.
- My life is so much better with you in it.
- You have a great laugh.
- Your smile is one of the best things about you.
- I am so proud of you.
- I love the person you’re becoming.
- You’re a joy to be around.
- I love hanging out with you.
- You bring so much fun to our family.
- I appreciate your help.
- I love everything about you.
- I love listening to you talk.
- I appreciate your help.
- I love you.
- You’re cute.
- I love how you see the world.
- I’m sorry.
- You sure know how to make me laugh.
- I am your biggest fan.
Encouraging Phrases To Motivate Kids To Try Their Best
- Trust your instincts.
- You did it!
- I believe in you, no matter what.
- I love how you help me see things differently.
- Your ideas are so creative.
- I can’t wait to see what you do.
- You have what it takes.
- You really know how to work hard.
- You should be proud of yourself.
- This is tough. But so are you.
- Your performance on this test won’t change my love for you.
- Just relax, and give it your best shot.
- Your personal best is all that matters.
- It’s okay if you have a different opinion.
- Keep going!
- It’s okay to take breaks.
- You can do anything you set your mind to.
- If it’s important to you, don’t give up.
- Don’t forget to notice how far you’ve come.
- This is hard, but I bet you can figure it out.
Words Of Encouragement To Help Kids Build Inner Confidence
- It’s okay to be scared.
- Being brave doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It just means you try anyway.
- That’s a good observation.
- What do you think?
- You are a kind person.
- You’re stronger than you think.
- How did you do that?
- How did you figure that out?
- You are a good leader.
- What you did was kind and thoughtful.
- You’re good at helping people.
- You are so intelligent.
- Thank you.
- I love when you share your ideas with me.
- Do you realize how incredible you are?
- I trust you.
- I love the way your mind works.
- You were right.
- You’re a good example.
- You are good at finding the positive.
- Look at what you did!
- You might not feel like it, but I think you’re pretty awesome.
- You are such a bright light to everyone around you.
Positive Phrases For Kids Who Are Having A Bad Day
- What you’re feeling is normal.
- It’s going to be okay.
- Give it time.
- It’s okay to say no.
- I like the way you handled that.
- We all worry sometimes.
- You are more than your emotions.
- It’s okay to be mad, upset, sad, etc.
- That must have been hard.
- You can change your mind.
- I know it’s hard now, but it will get better.
- Tomorrow is a new day.
- This isn’t the end.
- There’s always good somewhere, you just have to look for it.
- What can I do to help?
- I know how you feel.
- I’m so sorry that happened.
- It’s okay if they think/act differently than you. If everyone was the same, life would be pretty boring.
- I’m proud of you for standing up for yourself.
- I’m here to listen, whenever you want to talk.
- You handled that well.
- I know it’s rough, but you have the power to turn things around.
Words Of Encouragement To Support Kids During Difficulty
- Look how far you’ve come.
- You are incredible.
- I can see you’re trying hard.
- You’re good at figuring things out.
- You can always try again.
- I am so proud of you.
- That was hard. Nice work.
- I’m proud of you for trying.
- You’re almost there!
- You’ve got this.
- I am so impressed with you.
- Good for you.
- That’s the way to do it!
- You didn’t give up. That was impressive.
- You don’t have to be perfect at this.
- Don’t overthink it. Just go for it.
- No matter what happens, I’m here for you.
- Sometimes that’s just how it goes.
- You’re unstoppable!
- I knew you could do it!
Encouraging Words To Say To Kids To Promote A Growth Mindset
- You have improved so much.
- I can tell you put a lot of effort into this.
- Did you do this all by yourself?
- It’s okay if you haven’t figured it out yet.
- You’re a good problem-solver.
- Your hard work is paying off!
- It’s okay to make mistakes. That’s how we learn.
- Just give it a try.
- You’ll never know unless you try it.
- You can always ask for help.
- You’ve got a great attitude.
- Learning can be messy. But keep at it.
- I’m here if you need me.
- That’s a great question.
- Whatever happens, you’re strong enough to handle it.
- You didn’t quit, even when it got hard.
- Let’s see if we can break this down into doable steps.
- Don’t worry, it just takes practice.
- Everybody has to start somewhere.
- When you focus on the positive, it makes the hard parts easier.
- You have a thankful heart – and that’s something to be proud of.
Bonus: Do Words Of Encouragement Really Build Self-Esteem?
Yes! But it’s important to make sure we’re working with the correct definition.
“Self-esteem” in its most basic form is nothing more than what a person thinks of themselves. And according to that definition, high self-esteem is entitlement.
It’s thinking we’re the whole package – something that can lead to resentment when things get hard.
And that’s not what we want for our kids.
So perhaps a better term would be self-actualization, or a sense of self. And we can use words of encouragement to build that in our kids when we remember their 3 basic needs:
- To feel needed (and wanted).
- To feel capable.
- To feel a sense of control.
Then the positive things we say to our kids will be meaningful, helpful, and supportive. And we can build kids who feel safe and comfortable with who they are – flaws and all!
Bonus: Tips For Using These Words Of Encouragement
Here are a few extra tips to keep in mind when encouraging your kids:
Don’t use praise as a reward.
Your love doesn’t have to be earned, and your encouragement doesn’t have to be either! Catch your kids being good when they think you’re not looking, let them know you see their hard work and compliment them just because.
Don’t overthink it.
Yes, it helps to praise effort over achievement, and your only compliments shouldn’t be based on appearance – but don’t overthink it. In an effort to avoid flattery or over-praising, many parents feel stuck, not knowing what to say to their kids.
But your kids still need to know you’re their biggest fan, especially when they feel vulnerable (like before a test or a competition). So say what feels natural to you, and be sincere.
Be specific when you can.
Sometimes, “great job!” will be enough to make your kids smile. But it also helps to let your kids know what is so great. Did they work particularly hard? Did they do something especially kind? Did they get extra creative?
Show them that you notice. And remember, it doesn’t take much for your child to feel loved, so don’t feel like you need to overdo it either.
Bonus: How To Squeeze More Encouraging Words Into Your Child’s Day
In the course of a day, your kids can be bombarded with a wide array of emotions and thoughts. So to keep their emotional buckets full, try some of these ideas for squeezing even more positivity into their day:
Leave encouraging notes for your kids to find. Put them on a pillow, in a lunchbox, hiding in a notebook, or even on the bathroom mirror. The possibilities are endless!
Teach your kids to use positive affirmations. Head here for over 180 short affirmations your kids can pick from.
Make using positive phrases a family habit. Here are some fun ideas for your family to try.
Fit encouraging words into your daily routine. Pick a phrase to use each morning on the way to school, say kind phrases to your kids during bedtime, or even take turns complimenting each other during dinner.
Give your kids opportunities to practice positivity on their own. Our Dream Big Goal Planning Kit is filled with fun ways for kids to develop a positive mindset.
In the end, your words are very powerful. And your kids can become what you say they are. So use that power for good, and your whole family will benefit!
OTHER HELPFUL POSTS:
- The 12 Secrets Of A Confident Child
- Small Talk And Beyond: 9 Surefire Ways To Get Your Kids To Talk
- Helping Kids Gain The Confidence To Try New Things
- From Helpless To Hopeful: How To Raise Resilient Kids
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