05 Mar 15 Amazing One-Liners Your Kids Need to Hear You Say

Knowing the things to say to kids can be challenging. But most of us dads have a couple of essential one-liners in our toolbox: I love you, and I’m proud of you. And while those two are vital, adding a few other one-liners to the lineup can be powerful.

They can help us connect to our kids as they grow and mature and build their confidence. They can make them feel safe in a world that often feels anything but. This week, choose one or two of the following 15 one-liners your kids need to hear you say.

1. It’s OK to be sad.

Feeling sad can make kids feel like they are being or doing something wrong. Often, the most comforting thing for a sad child is to let him or her know it is OK to be sad. Sadness is a normal response to certain situations and events. No shame. No guilt.

2. It’s OK not to be perfect.

This statement can be a huge relief and connector to our kids. Oh how I wish someone had said it to me. Let’s be the ones to tell our kids they don’t have to have it all figured out and that they will make mistakes.

[pullquote position=”right”]Let’s be the ones to tell our kids they don’t have to have it all figured out.[/pullquote]

3. What are you feeling?

Feelings can make kids feel scared and out of control. Helping them to identify their feelings gives them a sense that they are driving their emotions versus their emotions driving them.

4. I believe you.

In our attempt to help our kids be honest, we often try to catch our kids in a lie. This is important, but it is even more important to catch them telling the truth.

5. I appreciate you.

We all want to be acknowledged for what we do, as do our kids. Appreciation communicates that I value your efforts. And how good does it feel when someone values ours?

6. I understand you.

Demonstrating empathy and understanding toward your kids’ feelings and experiences helps them feel heard and supported. Perhaps there is no greater gift we can give our kids than feeling understood.

7. I love your heart.

It’s so easy to be focused on encouraging our kid’s accomplishments. But is more important to focus on the character of their heart.

8. Say more about that.

If you have a talkative child, this one isn’t happening. But if you have kids who are shy or of few words, this can be a game changer in helping them feel heard and developing their communication skills.

9. That’s a great idea.

Because they are children, they have childish ideas. So it’s easy to miss the times when they do have great ideas. Recognizing, out loud, the incredible ways they think, celebrate, and solve problems grows their confidence and encourages more great ideas.

10. I love being your dad.

Kids constantly compare themselves to other kids. Let your kids know you would rather be their dad than any other kid’s on the planet. (Lowe kids, if you are reading this, this is certainly true for me.)

11. I missed you.

We only miss the ones we love, like, value, and enjoy. And while kids may not be able to articulate why they love that you missed them, they love it all the same.

12. Let’s start over.

These three words tell your kids they are worthy of a fresh start, teach them the value of forgiveness, and show them how to move past disagreements.

13. I’m listening.

Getting into lecture mode with our kids is easy. But letting our kids know we are listening communicates value, eases their frustrations, and celebrates who they are.

14. Thanks for telling me.

Showing gratitude for our kids sharing their thoughts reinforces the importance of communication and honesty.

15. What do you want to do?

I used to rack my brain trying to figure out something fun to do with my kids. Then I started asking them what they wanted to do. Most of the time, it led to a much better time. It was also typically easier than what I thought they might want to do.

Sound off: What’s the best thing your dad ever said to you?

Check out the All Pro Dad team discussing words kids long to hear in this podcast episode:

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