I have my own personal list of things I try to remember to say to my children often. One of my top priorities as a mom, besides teaching my children to love God with their whole heart, is to instill good character in them. If I do nothing but the above two things, I’ve done an excellent job teaching them!
We focus on character a lot at our house and have went through IBLP’s Character Card set many times. We also read many quality Children’s Books that focus on character. Learning the actual names of the character quality (initiative, being dependable, sincere, etc) and explaining the definition so even a 3-year-old can understand has been an amazing thing at our house! My children know all these big words and what they mean!
And encouragement goes a long way! Lavish your children with praise. If all they ever hear is mean, old Mom with a harsh tone, what does that do to their tender heart?
Here is my list of character encouragement!!
“Always obey. We have to obey joyfully and we have to obey right away. If you learn to obey your Mama well when you’re young, you’ll do a great job of obeying God for your whole life.”
“Show good diligence, keep on going trooper!”
“How can you show your brother compassion since he is hurt? Did you offer him an ice pack or help getting up? Does he need a band-aid or some water? Show sweet compassion.”
“Well, we can’t buy a new one because it’s important to be thrifty. But if we see a good one at a good price at a garage sale, maybe we can buy it.”
“That was great initiative buddy, I didn’t even ask you to do that!” (I try and notice every single time my children show initiative and I compliment them every time for it!)
“Have gentleness. Be gentle with others and be gentle with our things, we don’t break things and we’re not destructive.”
“Always be sincere when you apologize. Show that you care.”
“Keep your things organized so it will be easier to find them when you need them. If we take care of our things, they will last longer and you can enjoy them more.”
“Be patient, sometimes we have to wait for things. Patience is good for us.”
“Have a cheerful heart, be joyful. Let me see that pretty smile!”
“Make sure you’re real thorough, do your job completely all the way to the end.”
“Let’s have enthusiasm!”
“Always pray for wisdom. If you have wisdom, you’ll have one of the greatest treasures EVER!”
“Good job encouraging your brother, that was really good encouragement!”
“Let’s be on-time, have punctuality, it’s not polite to show up late, try real hard to be ready soon.”
“Buddy, that was so creative, what a neat thing you’ve done!”
“Let’s be cautious. Even if we’re playing while running and throwing balls, we have to be cautious of others around us so nobody gets hurt.” (We talk a LOT about cautiousness!) “Be cautious with your things so you don’t break them.”
“Mama will be dependable, I’ll do what I said I was going to do. Make sure you’re dependable also, do what you said you’d do.”
“Always be truthful. Only say things that are true.”
“It’s really, really important to have self-control. Even if you’re frustrated, talk calmly and be a peacemaker. Even if you get hurt, don’t yell, keep yourself controlled.”
“Way to have endurance! You’ve been going at that for a long time!”
“What things are you thankful for today? Let’s go around the table and name some.”
“When our guests get here, offer them a drink, show the children where the toys are, welcome them to our home, have good hospitality.”
“Remember to be content with what you have, don’t want other people’s things.”
“Avoid arguing. Be a peacemaker.”
“Ask your brother if he’d like to go first. Put others before yourself. Defer.”
“Oh, remember… we only speak things that are pure, just, true, honest, of good report…” (Phil 4:8)
“If you work, you get paid. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid.” -Dave Ramsey 🙂
“It’s your job to protect your sister.”
“You are a strong, tough man. Look at those muscles carrying in all those groceries!”
“Gentlemen hold open doors for ladies, you’re such a gentleman. Thank you for running up ahead to get the door for Mama!”
“Will you pray for our family since Dada is not home? You can pretend to be Dada.” (This is good for teaching your son to pray over his family, one day he’ll be the father).
“You protect our family when Dada is gone. You squash all the bugs and do the things that are dirty or heavy. You’re growing up to be a good man like Dada!”
“You’re our brave, strong man who has good courage. Be of good courage!”
“In our family, we’re all hard workers. No slothfulness. Way to do such hard work!”
“Your brothers and sisters are your best friends. Always be very kind to them.”
“In our house, we don’t fuss or complain. Remember how the Israelites always grumbled and complained? We don’t want to do that.”
“We all have kind, happy hearts in our family.”
”In our family, we are all sweet to each other.”
”Do the right thing. Choose to do the right thing. I know you can do it!”
What kinds of things do you say to encourage your children?!