Saturday, March 12, 2011

50 ways to encourage your babies: a tutorial for donkeys.

(or maybe your friend's babies, if you don't have any babies of your own)
(ok actually, you could say some of this stuff to your spouse and it would make them feel good. i mean, maybe don't talk to them in a baby voice though)

yesterday we were driving in the car, and nato and i were bickering back and forth about something really stupid. really stupid. that's embarrassing, but what's really embarrassing is that we were fighting in front of our kids. those little sponges. how selfish were we that we HAD to say those things to each other in front of the peanuts?
(crazy haired child)

at the height of our argument, layne said, guys, guys! you are acting like donkeys. we're pretty sure he got this line from shrek, but i don't know.
after we busted out laughing, daddy was like, you're right. (it's true, we were acting like asses!)so we stopped that nonsense. and it made me think, man, they are listening.

your babies are listening.
and we know lila's actually listening now...ha...that was
(why yes, that is a popped collar)

i saw this article in one of my family life emails. if you aren't signed up for these, they're pretty neat. and free . and they send daily devotionals and articles right to your email. ch- ch- ch- check it out...

50 Things You Can Say 
to Make Your Child 
Feel Great
Janel Breitenstein
I’m proud of you. And even if you weren’t so fantastic, I’d still be proud.

I believe you.

The way you _____ is such a perfect addition for our family. God knew just what we needed when He gave us you.

I know you and I haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye lately. But I want to let you know that I accept you whether I agree with you or not, and I’m committed to working on our relationship so we both feel understood and secure.

I can’t believe how _____ you are. I can’t imagine the plans God has for you!

You know, you may not feel very _____, but God knew exactly what He was doing when He made you the way He did, and it was just how He wanted to express Himself. I love you just the way He made you. And I wouldn’t have wanted Him to do it any differently.

No matter how royally you mess up, I’ll always be glad you’re mine, I’ll forgive you, and I’ll love your socks off.

I saw how you _____. I’m so proud of you.

I forgive you. And I won’t bring this up again, okay?

I want to hang out with just you tonight. What do you want to do?

I remember when I _____. I felt so _____. I don’t know if that’s like what you’re going through, but it was a tough time for me.

I’m sorry. Will you please forgive me for _____?

I got you this, just because.

Lately I’ve really seen you grow in the area of _____, like when you _____.

Yes, there is food in the house.

I admire the way you _______. In fact, I could learn a lot from you in that area.

That was a really wise choice.

No chores today.

I trust you.

You’re really growing into a young man/woman of character. I can’t tell you how exciting that is!

Go ahead and sleep in tomorrow.

I had no idea you could do that! You impress me.

What do you think?

I canceled your appointment with the dentist.

I love your dad/mom so much! He/she is so _____.

I love being around you.

I’m so glad you’re home.

Thank you!

I love doing _____ with you.

You are one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I am so humbled God gave me you.

I feel so proud when I’m with you.

You handled that so well.

I made your favorite _____.

I’m trusting that God will take perfect care of us. He’s always done it before! Can we pray together about this?

With God’s help, your dad/mom and I will never, ever get a divorce.

That looks great on you.

If I were in your shoes, I would feel so _____. Is that how you feel?

Would you turn your music up?

You are so well-disciplined in _____.

I sent you a big ol’ care package in the mail.

That was so courageous.

Do you feel like I’m understanding you?

If there were one thing you could change about me as your mom/dad, what would it be?

You have some real gifts in the area of _____.

Let’s go to Grandma’s!

It is so cool to watch you grow up.

Just wanted to let you know I’m praying for you.

I miss you, but I’m glad you’re having a good time!

You make me so happy just by being you.

I love you so much.

goal: i am going to try and say 2 of these phrases to my babies today. and maybe one of them to my husband.


  1. this list is great! thanks for posting it!

  2. Such a good ways to express what they need to hear constantly every day from us. I will try with my mister as well today.

  3. This is excellent. I'm putting this is my back pocket. What a great way to raise secure, confident, and Godly children.

    "Will you please turn your music up?" - Love it. My dad used to come barging into my room yelling, "Hey! Hey!" angrily until I turned the music off. Then he'd say, "The problem here is that your music is not loud enough! Turn that up right now!" Then he'd close the door with a smirk on his face, leaving me laughing in my room. :)

  4. ah yes... those dang sponges! who am i kidding? when i'm frustrated and impatient and in a hurry (yeah, so it's every day, so what?!) i yell at my kidlets. i try SO hard not to but those kids! argh! anyhow, i have a tendency to yell when i need them to rush. so then when my eldest yells at her sister i get upset. what's up with that?!? i ask where on earth she learned how to yell at her sister and not to do it anymore. duh! i wonder who she learns it from. i'm so dumb too. but we're all trying to be better, right? every day i'm trying harder. thanks for the tips... positive reinforcement is so easy and works so well. need to do it more often! thanks again! xo

  5. Sponges they are! It honestly scares the hell out of me. Ashlynn is only 18months and repeats so many things we say. Oh Lord help us!

  6. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for this post! Us parents don't mean to act like donkeys, but sometimes it happens. What a great reminder that kids are always listening and learning from us.

  7. Love this list! Love the "I believe you". If only we said this more to loved ones in our life!

  8. Thank you for sharing! I'm printing it out and sticking it on my cork board.

  9. love this and can totally use some of these with the students and families i work with.

    and the husband "YES, THERE IS FOOD IN THE HOUSE."
    def stood out. hah.

    happy weekend.

  10. I just 'copy and pasted' the list into a word doucment so I can hang it somewhere/refer to it often. Our teenager could really grow from hearing some of these things from us! THANK you for sharing.

  11. What a fantastic list!! I agree with the other Cindy right above me...:)...I am printing this right away.
    Thanks so much!
    Have a happy night

    signing up for the free emails too...

  12. Thank you for this! I really needed to be reminded how important it is to encourage my kiddos...and the hubs, i guess. : )

  13. I love this. So practical, but so important.

    PS: Your humor STILL kills me. Every.time. I was dying at the Walmart story on FB, had me at "boots with the fur" Now I can't get that song out of my head.

  14. I can't believe you yell in front of your kids!


  15. Awesome shmasome list dude.

    Love, hugs and all that junk,
    a fellow donkey sometimes.

  16. you're right about using these for spouses, too. i don't have any kids (and don't think my chihuahua would benefit much if i said them to her) but i'd love to try them out on my husband!

  17. great list of positive encouraging things to say!

  18. this is great. It's is just what i needed too! thanks for sharing!
    we too struggle with fighting in front of our kids. it's hard to wait until later to "discuss" things.!

  19. Good stuff! Positive words and encourgament!

  20. Gentry's line is usually, "you guys are not being kind to each other" OUCH...they TOTALLY get it!

  21. Hitting myself over the head! I so needed this reminder! Thanks for sharing!

  22. i try to remind myself that the world is cruel enough... they need us to encourage and uplift them. but i so easily forget this.
    this list is awesome.

    and love how you write.

  23. I love love love this! Your blog is so encouraging. THANK YOU!!

  24. is one of them really "i canceled your dentist appointment"?

    what is encouraging about that? now they are gonna get cavities.

  25. it is so crazy how much the kiddlets take in!! and i am definitely guilty of arguing with hubs in front of them at times~
    i adore this list so much~ thanks heaps for posting it~ happy monday chick!

  26. When I was growing up my dad used to tell my sisters and I that he was proud of us and that he loved us every day. i'm pretty sure that changed my life.

  27. it's never too late - so many of those phrases need to be said to all of us, regularly! i am going to do a better job of using them with my family. love you!

    btw - leigh anne and I are planning on coming out for katie's (kairos) wedding. I'm gonna call your mom and see if we can stay with her. I know she has a house full, so if it's too much i totally understand, we'll just get a hotel room. :) either way, i hope we get to see you!

  28. Another fabulous post! As a mother of two between 20 months & 3, this is such a wonderful list of 'reminders' for me when I hit whits ends! Thank you- Thank you! :)

  29. these pictures are super cute. are you taking them with your iPhone?

  30. your family is beautiful and love your list.

  31. That list is print worthy! Thank you so much for sharing it. I needed those today.

  32. I REALLY needed these. Now I'm going to make an effort to use them.


  33. What a great list! Thanks for sharing!

  34. you are priceless!
    for some reason your blog disappeared from my list and then it just jumped back on and now it is like CHRISTMAS over here! reading reading reading.


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