1. I love you!
You need to say these words as often as possible everyday! Say it until the response back is "I know, Mom!" or "You always say that!" Say it when they wake up in the morning. Say it while they eat breakfast. Say it before they leave for school. Say it when they are eating lunch. Say it when they are picking up their toys. Say it when they are doing homework. Say it while they eat dinner. Say it when they are getting ready for bed. Say it as you turn off the light at bedtime. Say it as often as you can! Never, ever, let the sun set without say, "I love you!"
2. I'm proud of you!
Tell your kids you are proud of them frequently and it doesn't have to be for something that great they have achieved. Observe their actions of kindness, gentleness, generosity, courage, positive behavior. Tell them you are proud that they sat through church and listened. Tell them you are proud that they finished their homework. Tell them you are proud that they folded and put their clothes away. Tell them you are proud of they way they drew that picture. Tell them you are proud that they finished their dinner and cleared the table. Tell them you are proud of how they are sharing with their sibling(s). Let them know they are doing things to make you proud! They should know that you are proud of them for simple everyday things.
3. You are special!
Every child needs to know how special he is. Find something everyday that makes your child special (even if it is just because he is YOURS) and tell him about it.
Children hear "No." ALL the time! "No, you can't eat that." "No, you can't do that" "No, you can't have that." "No, we can't buy that." "No, we can't go there" Do yourself (and your kids) a favor and pick one thing a day that you would normally say NO to and say YES! Their smiles (and shocked faces) will be worth it!
5. How about now?
We always put things off that we don't have time for or don't feel like doing. For example, your child has been asking you to make cookies with her for 3 days and you keep telling her "another day". Tomorrow, when she says "Mommy, when are we going to make those cookies?" How about saying, "How about now?" Watch the surprise on her face!
6. That's a great idea!
I know I love it when someone says that to me . . . it doesn't happen often, though! Imagine how many more ideas he will have if you tell him how great his ideas are! Not every idea is going to be great, of course, but if you don't encourage him he will stop having ideas and that is truly tragic.
7. It's okay.
Honestly, a lot of the things that kids do drive us crazy. They push our buttons. They make messes that they don't clean up and we are stuck cleaning up after them. They break things. Next time something happens TAKE A DEEP BREATH, GIVE YOUR DARLING CHILD A HUG and say, "IT'S OKAY!" You will both feel better - and even though it may not feel like it's okay . . . it will be.
8. Will you help me?
Sometimes it is nice to ASK your child for help instead of telling them to do something. She is so programmed to hearing you TELL her to... pick up her toys, make her bed, brush her teeth, do her homework, eat her dinner, turn off her computer. Just imagine asking your child to help you with something that she doesn't HAVE to do but you truly WANT her help with! "Can you help me set the table?" "Can you help me make dinner?" "Can you help me find my keys?" It will make her feel needed and useful, which we all know are WONDERFUL feelings!
9. I love spending time with you!
Stop buying your kids everything they ask for or to make up the fact that you've not been around for them. Your kids, without a doubt, would rather have you spend an hour reading, drawing, laughing, snuggling, playing, cooking, building, learning, teaching, racing, throwing, catching, swinging and smiling than anything that you can buy them. Each day spend some time with you kids and then tell them how much you love spending time with them, it will mean more to them then anything you could buy!