But that’s only half of the story. While there are plenty of things you should not say to your child, there are also plenty of things you should tell them on a habitual basis. I’d be remiss to leave out that part of the story.
Most of these are applicable no matter what the age. Whether your children are 2 or 60, you can and should speak them.
Some of them may need to be uniquely suited if your children are older than 2, though. And some (like #19) may not work if you’re a single parent.
50 things you should tell your children
1. I love you.
2. I will always love you.
3. No matter what you do, you’ll always be my child.
4. I love you, but I’m still going to punish you.
5. Yes, I’ll forgive you.
6. Will you forgive me? I messed up.
7. You’re so valuable to me.
8. Let’s go to church.
9. Yes, I’ll drop what I’m doing to play.
10. No, I’m not too busy.
11. You drew that?!? Amazing!
12. I’m proud of you.
13. You slipped up, but you’re still precious to me.
14. Can we talk?
15. Let’s hang out.
16. You don’t have a choice here. You’re 2 years old.
17. You’re safe with me.
18. Yes, I’ll help.
19. You’re not the most important person in my life…your mom (my wife) (or your dad (my husband)) is.
20. Honoring God is always the right choice.
21. Learning to obey mommy and daddy is important.
22. Let’s pray.
23. Let’s go on a date! (dad to daughter, or mom to son)
24. To boys specifically: Never treat your mother with disrespect. Never.
25. To boys specifically: stand up for yourself.
26. To boys specifically: it’s okay to cry.
27. To boys specifically: it’s okay to be dangerous.
28. To boys specifically: being dangerous can leave you hurt. But playing it safe isn’t what men are called to do.
29. To boys specifically: fight for things that are eternally valuable.
30. To boys specifically: stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
31. To girls specifically: You’re worth far more than rubies.
32. To girls specifically: you’re beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not.
33. To girls specifically: you’re my princess, and you always will be.
34. Love those that nobody else loves.
35. Love others more than you love yourself.
36. Love and respect those who don’t love or respect you.
37. Serve others like your life depended on it.
38. Learn to respect those in authority over you. Life will be much easier if you do.
39. There is no problem so big that you can’t come to me.
40. You’ll never do anything to lose my love.
41. You have so many gifts. Can I help you use them?
42. I will always want what is best for you.
43. It’s okay if you mess up. I mess up, too.
44. No matter where you are or what you’ve done, if something’s wrong, call me. I’ll come running.
45. I don’t care if your friends get to do that. I’m your parent, not theirs.
46. Be a good friend. Others will love you for it.
47. It’s okay to be upset.
48. You can never do anything so bad that God would desert you.
49. You’re a ____ (insert your last name), and ____s (insert your last name again) don’t back down from our convictions.
50. Your mom and dad aren’t perfect. But we love you unconditionally.
Anything you’d add?
* image credit: CreationSwap user Justin Knight