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Soul Building Words for Kids

Image of a book showing affirming words for self esteem

There has never been a time in history when our kids mental health is so fragile thanks to the emergence of technology and self esteem destroying apps like ‘Ask Me’ or where kids constantly compare their looks and social lives on ‘Tick Tock’ or ‘Instagram.’ They are indulging in a world that is dangerous for their self esteem and where it’s easy to feel a failure. How do we as parents then build them up rather than tearing them down?

Self-Esteem doesn’t come naturally. It is something that is developed over time and parents have an important job to do in the early years to encourage children to believe in themselves. Having a healthy self-esteem takes work. The basic definition for self-esteem is ”your attitude or belief about yourself”.

Children with healthy self-esteem respect themselves, can control their behaviour, are confident, love themselves and are confident in their decision making.  Children with poor self esteem have no confidence in the way they look, give up easily, feel like a failure and have poor decision making behaviours.

lots of affirmation words in a speech bubble

What are Soul Building Words?

Soul building words are words that encourage, empower, know that you are understood and that person believes in you no matter what.

How many parents get completely frustrated when for example trying to teach kids to ride a bike.

If a child has fallen off of their bike and they hear words coming from their parents such as “You are still doing it wrong.  I have shown you how to ride your bike multiple times, can’t you get it already?” these words tear down their self-esteem. Your child now believes that they can’t do anything such as riding a bike. Therefore, they stop trying. 

A positive comment or soul building word could be ” Good try! You are doing better each time. I know that you can get it this time.” This way you are showing the child that you believe in their abilities and it persuades your child to believe in themselves. 

Girl holding a superman statue

Try These Soul Building Words

“I will wait for you.”
“Take your time.”
“You make my day better.”

I say those words to my slow-moving, sometimes painfully frustrating child and then I watch as grateful eyes light up and tiny shoulders relax.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect.”
“Okay, you can have a few more minutes to work on your project.” 
“Mistakes mean your learning”

I say those words to my driven, contentious planner and pursuer of dreams child and then I watch as pressure escapes from her chest and aspirations soar higher.

“I appreciate you.”
“I’m listening.”
“You matter.”

I say those words to my hard-working, struggling at school and unsure of her place in the world teen and then I watch as tensions loosen, eyes meet, and conversation comes easier.

“It’s good enough for today.”
“Be kind to yourself.”
“Today matters more than yesterday.”

I say those words to my own perfection-seeking, parent focused worrisome heart that tends to replay past mistakes and then I watch as my clenched hands open and tears of relief fall.

The words “I love you” should never be underestimated, every human being has a few words that make his or her soul come alive.

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