When I read this article by Brent Rinehart, it dawned on me that simple as it may seem these are things we do not do regularly. Words matter, especially the spoken word. Our children soak them up like sponges. Of all the phrases we say as parents, there are a few that I believe every child needs to hear.
God loves you!
The most basic and important truth we can instill in our children is the fact that God loves them. It’s simple enough that even a young child can grasp it. They will carry it throughout their lives. If you never tell your children that God loves them, you are depriving them of the head start they deserve and leaving an open door for the Enemy to come in and tell them otherwise.
I love you!
This phrase probably goes without saying. Sure, we all love our children. Showing we love them every day is important. And, yes, there’s a lot of truth to the saying “Actions speak louder than words.” But, there’s no substitute for telling your children you love them. Don’t let the sun go down on a single day without them hearing those words.
I am here for you!
Children need to know that their parents are always there. We need to communicate with them and let them know that there’s no situation too big or scary for Mom or Dad. We are not designed to be best friends with our kids but parents. We are their shoulders to cry on, arms to hug, and mouths to speak comfort to our children at the times they need it most.
I am proud of you!
It’s important for our children to hear us say the words. More important, perhaps, is the need for them to hear why. It is so much easier for us to tell others how proud we are of our kids than telling them.
I was wrong!
Our children need to see that we are human. Saying you were wrong and you are sorry communicates that you aren’t perfect. Our kids need to know that we make mistakes, and that making mistakes is okay. Admitting you were wrong shows them the proper response to making a mistake – owning up to it.
You were wrong!
One of the most important responsibilities we have as parents is teaching our children right from wrong. Too many children are raised without a true sense of what is right and what is wrong, and from my view, it’s largely because parents aren’t telling them. I’ve seen too many parents make excuses for their children and live in denial.
Raising children is not easy in any culture and words always matter. This is usually not something Nigerian parents think about, but we should pay more attention to speaking the right words to our children.