“I love you” Say it as often as you like but more than 3 times
“I like it when ….” Talk about positive aspects of their behaviour
“You make me happy” This makes them feel valuable
“I’m proud of you” They need to hear they are doing a good job, even when it’s hard
“You are special” Let them know their uniqueness is a strength
“I trust you” Building a foundation of trust raises an honest person
“I believe in you” Teach them how valuable they are
“I know that you can do this” Encourage them to never give up
“I am grateful for you” Be specific, this can really make their day
Do you agree? When we were looking after our great nephew we were asked not to say that he was a good boy when he did things that we were pleased with as my niece said it would shape him to please others rather than doing it because it was a sensible thing to do. Eg When he wiped his dirty hands on a washer we were not to tell him he was a good boy but rather say something like” “That’s great! Now you won’t be making your toys dirty when you play with them!” Both Hugo and I found that it was automatic for us to say “Good boy” and enjoyed the challenge of a positive comment regarding the outcome as a consequence of his behavior.
So I suspect she would agree with these 2 comments from Kim Griffith: When you say “you make me happy” and “I like it when you”…..this teaches them to please you and others rather than build intrinsic motivation and discipline. She says that our job is to reflect back their contribution and specific strengths and accept, love and guide them when they are “off”. Help them connect to how they feel when they make choices that don’t serve them or the family and how they feel when they do. How about – “I am happy that you are in my life period – even when you go to the dark side”:)
Think good thoughts
Say nice things
Do good for others
Everything comes back TM
Above all be grateful! As a matter of habit Hugo and I always share with each other what we are grateful for before we eat our evening meal. It is amazing how many blessings enter our lives each day which didn’t even exist in the morning!