50 Phrases to Say to our Kids

One of the most important things you can do is speak words of life to a child. This is true whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a caregiver, a teacher, a babysitter, a coach, a family friend, a healthcare worker, or a pastor.

Children hear a lot of rubbish, so it’s important that we fill their hearts and minds with good, edifying words. There’s life and death in the tongue.

As a father of four, I want to be intentional about the things I say to my children. I don’t want to be one of those dad’s who is either shooting off his mouth or apologizing for shooting off his mouth.

Trouble is, speaking life doesn’t always come naturally. Not when I’m tired. It’s not that I’m a curmudgeonly old coot. But like many men, I tend to be economical with my words.

And that’s not healthy where kids are concerned.

To help me be a better dad, I have prepared a list of 50 phrases I can say to my kids to establish them in their God-given identity, to buttress their sense of self worth, and so forth. Call it a cheat sheet for parents, if you like.

50 healthy phrases we can say to our kids

To establish their identity

1. I will always love you no matter what
2. I love being your Mom / Dad
3. I’m so happy God gave you to us
4. You are a child of the King
5. God made you beautiful inside and out
6. God has given you precious gifts
7. You make me smile
8. I love it when you…
9. How about a hug!
10. I am here for you
11. This family wouldn’t be complete without you

To establish their self worth

12. You are God’s masterpiece
13. I believe in you
14. Always be yourself, no matter what it takes
15. I trust you
16. You have great ideas
17. I am proud of you
18. This world needs you
19. I thank God for you
20. I love your creativity
21. You are fun!
22. What you did – awesome!
23. It’s okay to be scared
24. Sometimes we’re not okay and that’s okay
25. Look out world – here s/he comes!

To help them find their voice

26. I’m listening
27. What was the best/worst part of your day?
28. I can’t wait to hear all about it
29. Your words matter
30. That’s a good point
31. That’s a great question
32. I love how you said that
33. Good idea – let’s try it your way
34. What do you think?

To help them lean on God

35. God is with you always
36. Relax, God’s got this
37. God is always good to us
38. We can trust our heavenly Father
39. Let’s talk to God about this
40. Let’s ask God for guidance / help
41. Let’s thank God for his provision / protection
42. Let’s find 3 things we are thankful for
43. If it matters to you, it matters to God

To mend a hurt

44. You were right, I was wrong
45. I am sorry, please forgive me
46. Thank you for telling me; that was really brave
47. I forgive you – we all make mistakes
48. It’s okay to cry
49. This too will pass
50. It’s forgiven and forgotten

That’s my list. What did I miss?

PS: Click the image to get a larger version of this list that you can print and share.


14 Comments on 50 Phrases to Say to our Kids

  1. You rock! 🙂

  2. georgelegomovie // November 19, 2020 at 3:42 am // Reply

    Great list!!!

  3. Bubbling with joy as I go over and over reflecting on the list

  4. I love what you just did. ( empowerment)

  5. richard elson // November 22, 2020 at 1:21 am // Reply

    Instead of saying you’re beautiful, smart or strong I like to reinforce the qualities of their character that will support them when their beauty fades, when the problem is bigger than they have ever encountered, and when the difficulties of life look insurmountable.

    Whenever it is possible I try to notice and reinforce the positive character traits that create a trajectory of competence and resilience into the future and it’s challenges.
    These personal qualities need to be worked at and developed over time, they’re not something that happens by mistake.

    I enjoy the way you ask questions, you have an enquiring mind. 
    You have such Self-control, you are very strong and disciplined. 
    You make a great effort to be social. . .even with those not like you.
    I can see you like to think before you speak, you are very thoughtful and intelligent. 
    I love the way you approach life with all your attention and energy . 
    You always seem to find the bright side of a problem. 
    You always find the things to be grateful for.
    You can see the other person point of view, that’s amazing.
    You’re a great team player, you bring out the best in others.  
    I can always trust your version of a story you’re very Honest. 
    You are so patient and hard working.
    You ask good questions rather than following the crowd. 
    You are positive regardless of the circumstances . 
    You’re very Respectful of others, your words are Sincere and I’ve have noticed you are Loving, Kind and Caring, that takes a lot of strength.

  6. Susanne M Spindler // November 22, 2020 at 2:27 am // Reply

    I’d say that with very little effort, this list is applicable to every person in our lives…

  7. Stella Chuwa Emmanuel // November 22, 2020 at 9:25 am // Reply

    Thanks a lot

  8. Phrases plays an important role in every child’s life. Kids do those things what they had heard in family, school, soon. Words always matter, we should teach God words, Bible Story, a Bible verse to our kids. Kids should learn good phrases about God.

  9. Angela McCollum // April 9, 2021 at 5:38 am // Reply

    I enjoy reading your post, i just happened across it today. I wanted to share something my mother passed down as advice to us; “before you say or do anything, ask yourself, would you say or do it if Jesus was sitting next to you?”

  10. #6 God has give you precious gifts! That is so key in a child’s identity. Really great article!

  11. Thanks Paul… Thank God that you are here, even you’re in the other side of this monitor. Thanks for sharing Paul. Really appreciate it.

  12. I love this list! Thank you for sharing these words of encouragement for our kids!

  13. Sharon Parker // September 24, 2022 at 2:41 am // Reply

    I don’t like the term “mistake” when apologizing. “Mistake” carries with it the impression that it’s not what you thought you were doing, your mouth just did it. I agree with enforcing character traits rather than beauty and outward accomplishments. Also, it doesn’t feel right to me to say. “I’m proud of you” because it seems to convey the idea that I’m getting my self-esteem from bragging rights on you, like I’m in competition with other parents. I usually say I admire you, maybe I should say I admire your devotion or determination or some specific quality of character. Or maybe there’s a better word to use than even admiration.

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