I wrote about some helpful phrases to use with 1 year olds and 2 year olds (and all their emotional drama). And since that’s as old as we get around here (until December when we’ll have a 3 year old), I’ll have to end this mini series here with a couple bonus phrases good for kids of all ages 🙂
Bonus phrase #4 – I love you.
We tell our kids this a lot. Ben says it to each of them every night as he puts them to bed – no matter what you do, I will always love you.
Our love is not conditional upon their obedience. And it’s important they know that. I sign it to the girls often
Now, if I sign ‘i love you’ silently to Addie, she’ll get a big smile on her face and say, “I love you.” All this boundary setting and obedience teaching is beneficial and good. But it’s also good to freely and frequently say, “I love you.” Always and no matter what.
Bonus Phrase #5 – I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?
I’m sorry I snapped.
I’m sorry I yelled.
I’m sorry I interrupted you.
I’m sorry I was impatient.
Mommies and daddies make mistakes too. And if we want our kids to become good at apologizing then we have to model it.
It’s funny, sometimes I know I need to apologize to my toddler and I feel awkward almost. Guess I’m not a great apologizer.
But I’m getting better.
There’s a little voice inside saying – don’t apologize, it doesn’t matter, she doesn’t know the difference.
But all of that is a lie.
The truth is – it always feels good to own up to your mess, to ask forgiveness, to receive it.
There is freedom in walking in the truth and in the light. Even if the truth is simply saying “I’m sorry” to your 2 year old.
What an easy way to model and live out grace with our kids in day to day life.
“I’m sorry I ________. Will you forgive me?” [And guess what? My two year old always says yes. Perhaps she is more like Jesus than me.]
Bonus phrase #6 – I like you.
When my husband was a kid, his parents used to tell him this, and we’ve carried on the tradition. From time to time, his parents would remind his little 5, 6, or 7 -ish year old self, “a lot of parents tell their kids ‘I love you.’ And we love you too. But parents have to love their kids. We also like you. We like spending time with you and we think you’re great. We like you.”
I dare you to tell your kid(s), “I like you.” Their faces will explode with happiness. 🙂
Parenting is hard.
What else do you say to your kids?!