1. I love you.
2. I’m proud of you.
3. Tell me about it.
4. It doesn’t matter.
Now for #7: You’re good at __________. My children’s strengths and interests were evident from early childhood. At 18 months, my athlete was bouncing a basketball in the toilet, and my brainiac figured out how to get on the internet (when the internet was still new). At three, my servant-hearted child was pretending to waitress. In my opinion, a lot of sibling rivalry could be defuseed if each child knows their strengths, and understands God has gifted each of them for different tasks. There’s no need for competition. A child who knows where his strength lies has confidence to try other things. And who better to see their talents and abilities than a parent who is intimately familiar with everything about them?
8. I’m sorry. Admit it, Parents. We make plenty of mistakes. One of biggest mistakes is thinking our kids need to see us as infallible. But have you ever lived with a perfectionist? Or someone whose standards you knew you’d never live up to? Kids don’t need perfect parents. They need parents who teach by example. If we want them to be quick to admit fault, quick to seek forgiveness, they need to see us modeling that behavior. Every time we react in anger, every time we fail to keep our word, every time our words or behavior pierce a child’s heart, we need to get down on their level and say, “I’m sorry,” and beg their forgiveness. When we do, something is set free in the relationship that allows it to deepen and grow. Be quick to apologize, and quick to seek forgiveness.
I can’t guarantee that if your kids hear these eight things, they’ll become super-heroes. But when we communicate our love and confidence and belief in them, they might begin to feel as if they had super-powers. And that’s not a bad thing!