The goal of every parent should be to raise a confident child. Confidence is one of the core essentials that lead to success in life. Parental verbiage to a child has a huge impact for building or destroying confidence in a child. Thus, it is incumbent upon parents to do all that they can to learn positive phrases for building confidence in their child. I will list some of them and you can decide whether they are already a part of your parental vocabulary or you have some learning to do.

  1. YOU ARE CAPABLE: Parental phrases becomes the internal language of a child. Your child is capable. Let him/her know that. Do not focus on the negative such as, “you are going to hurt yourself” or “don’t fall.”
  2. THAT WAS BRAVE: Kids like to feel brave, that they can conquer challenges. Verbalizing that to the child reinforces such a belief.
  3. YOU’VE GOT THIS: When you know the child has the skills, your comment gives an extra boost to succeed.
  4. I BELIEVE IN YOU: This is a biggee. Knowing that parents are solidly behind a child inspires him/her to do their best.
  5. YOU CAN DO HARD THINGS: When the obstacles get larger it is important to encourage your child to do the next “hard” thing.
  6. NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, I LOVE YOU: The most important one. Kids need, and thrive on, the consistent love of their parents. 
  7. LET’S TRY TOGETHER: A little helping hand can assist a child in getting to the next step. Knowing that the parent is there, if needed, is reassuring and confidence building.
  8. HOW’D YOU DO THAT?: By asking that you are helping them feel proud and gives them an opportunity to show off and do it again.
  9. THAT SOUNDS AWESOME, CAN YOU TELL ME MORE?: Kids want to be heard. By picking a particular topic and asking to hear more, the child gets the message that s/he is important and has something to contribute. 
  10. GIVE IT YOUR BEST: You don’t want kids to think they need to succeed at a high level in order to earn your accolade. Rather, you want to impart the message that it is the effort put in, not necessarily the outcome. There will be plenty of good outcomes if the best effort is consistently given by your child.
  11. I KNOW IT’S HARD, BUT I’VE SEEN YOU DO IT BEFORE: Sometimes your child isn’t fully into something, or is momentarily losing confidence. Reminding the child that s/he has done it before can help get him/her over the hump.
  12. YOU MAKE ME PROUD: I like this one a lot and have used it often with our kids. Now as young adults they tell Sherry and me that they valued that growing up, and still like to hear it. Deep down kids want their parents to be proud of them.
  13. I WONDER WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF?: This type of question evokes curiosity and a search for possibilities. Such mind expansion can be encouraging and confidence building. 
  14. SOMETIMES WE MAKE MISTAKES, AND IS HOW WE LEARN: Parents often can over dramatize mistakes which will lead kids to stop trying. To emphasize that no mastery occurs without a certain amount of mistakes along the way can help kids to keep plugging away.
  15. HOW DID YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF TODAY: Continuing to personally demonstrate, and encourage your child to take on challenges, helps your child have new successes and more positive self esteem. 
  16. REPEAT AFTER ME, “I CAN DO IT”: This direct statement can be very additive to the brain wiring that is the goal here.

There are more positive phrases that could be included here. I just wanted to give you a taste of how certain types of phrases can lead to a child’s increased confidence. Confidence is a critical variable in success. Try to be aware if your phrases to your child are positive and enhancing or do they emphasize the negative and, thus, wither away your child’s self confidence. Your child deserves the best parenting you can bring to his or her life!

Dr. Stathas can be reached at 706-473-1780. Email: Website: Blog:

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