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Finley Robinson

Family Friday: 6 Powerful Phrases Every Parent Can Speak

publishedabout 2 months ago
3 min read

Hi there, it's Finley 👋🏼 and Happy Friday.

Today's story takes 2 minutes to read.

Revisit: Three months ago, as we were about to send our daughter to college I shared about the 950 weeks that parents have at home with each child.

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6 Mommy & Daddy Sayings

When my youngest daughter was born I started carrying around a small journal.

I wanted to capture ideas and stories because life was moving too fast and I knew I'd forget them.

I didn't have the margin to do it well and I was sporadic at best.

I've been rereading some of them, curious about what I was thinking and learning over a decade ago.

It has been a blend of young parent ideas, a lot of leadership development for a guy in his early 30s, and a few lessons from the Bible too.

I stumbled across one titled "6 Daddy Sayings" (but they apply for moms too.)

6 Sayings Journal Entry.jpg

For your kids, the younger they start to hear these, the better.

Here's what I wrote down, certainly from another dad along the way:

"I love you."

Despite it being a common family phrase, don't ignore it.

Verbally telling your children you love them matters. It's a phrase with a unique power. It binds, reassures, warms, and settles. Be liberal. Say it often.

"I am proud of you."

Kids can be short on belief. Most of life will seek to take them down.

Parental pride has special properties. It builds up. Validation speaks volumes to people but especially to kids. Saying you're proud (out loud!) communicates you noticed their effort, gifts, and courage.

"You are special to me."

No two kids are the same. Each one has their own personality and wiring.

Verbalizing how special you think your son or daughter is, helps give deep character affirmation. The more they understand the special place they hold in your life, the more they will believe you and bond with your family.

"I think you are smart."

Everyone has their own way of looking and communicating in the world.

Smarts aren't always measured in the classroom. It could be problem-solving, relational repair, or art creation. Recognizing your children for their decision-making and mind is so valuable.

"You are so handsome." (boys)
"You are so beautiful." (girls)

It is human nature to draw confidence from how we look.

By the time they are teenagers, there will be more than enough criticism leveled against your kids for their appearance. Giving them assurance that you love the way they look builds the confidence they will need someday.

"I think you are cool." (boys)
"You are all mine." (girls)

Boys and girls need to know they belong but in different ways.

Telling your son he is cool isn't about keeping up with the cultural standard. You are letting him know he belongs to your family and you admire his poise. He needs to know he has what it takes.

Your daughter needs to know she is lovable. Her identity as your daughter makes her special and safe. Being a Princess to a King or Queen gives her belonging.

This weekend is your chance!

Why not look for ways to sprinkle in 2-3 of these phrases immediately with each of your kids?

To make it even more powerful, put your arm around them or hold their face in your hands while you say these to them.

Physical touch takes a powerful phrase and multiplies it by 10x!


There is no formula

Jen Hatmaker

"There is nothing we wanted to do better than parenting, and nothing is less guaranteed.

Our kids will suffer just like we did, just like every generation ever.

We thought we might be the ones who got them through unscathed but turns out we aren't.

There is no formula that inoculates kids against life. None. No perfect church attendance, no ten-step system, no amount of love, no right neighborhood, nothing.

And none of us pulled off the perfect parenting grift like we hoped, because that isn't real.

We ended up as normal human parents with regular human kids."


We're Better Together

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