What your kids need to hear 10 TIMES MORE than you think they do

Some of the best parenting advice we’ve been given is,

Figure out what your kids need to hear in order to be shaped by ACCEPTANCE*, not REJECTION.

*(Acceptance, of course, is not about turning them into Special Snowflakes.)

Then, tell them ten times more than you think they need to hear it.


As in, if you think you’ve told them enough? Tell them again. And then one more time.

If you’re tired of hearing yourself say it, and the small humans are starting to roll their eyes, you’re about half done.


Here’s what we’ve got stuck up in our bathroom, and stuck on repeat:

  1. God loves you.
  2. God made you and gifted you.
  3. God forgives you, and never forgets about you.
  4. God’s plan for you is the best plan for you.
  5. You are brave, handsome and smart.
  6. You’re an awesome son / brother / friend.
  7. You can tell me anything and ask me anything. (Tone is important.)
  8. You have what it takes.
  9. You can feel proud of yourself; you’ve worked so hard.
  10. You are never an embarrassment or a disappointment to me.
  11. I love you no matter what.
  12. I love spending time with you.
  13. I’m listening.
  14. I respect you (and your opinions, passions and aversions).
  15. I’m proud of you.
  16. I trust you to think and pray.
  17. I trust you to choose a good, kind, brave attitude.
  18. I trust you to make a clever plan.
  19. I trust you to take responsibility.
  20. [For sporting events et al:] I love watching you! Try your best! Have fun!
  21. It’s so cool that everyone is different.
  22. Thank you for being so generous.
  23. No worries. No big deal. Try again.
  24. Marshmallows or cockroaches? [Read Chapter 6 of my book to get this one.]
  25. If God had lined up all the kids in the world and let me pick, I would pick you every time.


. . .

I’d love to hear from you! What else should we be saying to our kids? What are you saying to yours?

And feel free to share this post. We’re in this together.

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Have a great week.

Last Monday’s post, if you missed it:

It’s not a midlife crisis; it’s eternity in your heart: Open Letter to a Friend



  1. I’m reading this while sitting and savouring a quiet cup of tea while the baby sleeps and the 3yo is at preschool.
    I look forward to finding you in my inbox every Monday!
    Yet another helpful and thought provoking read. (I’d never heard of special snowflakes before…)
    Thank you 🙂


  2. Great list Dalene, thanks! I’ll definitely be using many of them.

    Something I’ve taken from a Robin Sharma video (Search for “How To Grow Great Kids – Robin Sharma (08m36s)” on Youtube) is to say the following to our little boy as we put him down.

    1. Whatever you do, do it well
    2. Whatever you want to be, be it
    3. Never give up (I forget about this one, and have therefore only been planting the seeds of 3 of the 4, so I’m glad I quickly re-watched the video before posting this comment ;-))
    4. Never forget how much mommy and daddy loves you


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