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With healthy self-esteem, your child will flourish. In an era where kindergarten is the new first grade, children are being pushed to develop academic skills from an early age. Yet all the intellectual skills in the world are of little value without the confidence to put them to use. This is why, as a parent, we should prioritize building healthy self-esteem and confidence first and foremost.


To do so, we can choose words that inspire confidence. Here are 25 phases that you can use to increase confidence and self-esteem in your children:

1. “You are capable."

As a parent, our words become the internal language in the minds of our children. We know that our kids are capable of so much—let your words match this belief. Avoid saying things like, "You are going to hurt yourself" or "Don't fall." Our tone and language should communicate confidence.

2. “That was brave."

Sometimes we need to notice things aloud. That means to let them know when we see them being brave. When we notice our kids being brave, they start to notice too.

3. “You've got this."

You know that they have the skills and means necessary and your vote of confidence will give them that extra boost they need to succeed.

4. “I believe in you."

As the parent, you have faith in your child's ability. When you openly communicate that faith in them it will inspire it within themselves.

5. “You can do hard things."

When the going gets tough the obstacles can seem insurmountable. So this direct phrase will tell them exactly what they need to hear—acknowledgment that this is hard work and that they are capable.

6. “No matter what happens, I love you."

Our children need to hear words that communicate unconditional love. That means providing reassurance of our love—regardless of the outcome.

7. “Let's try it together."

Sometimes we all need a helping hand and be sure they know that you will be that hand when they need it.

8. “How'd you do that?"

Ask questions. When you see them do something hard, say, "How did you manage that? How can you do it again?"

9. “That sounds awesome, can you tell me more?"

Take it one step further than just noticing their effort—ask them to elaborate. Then hear the the pride in their voice when they explain.

10. “How can I help?"

When they get really stuck, don't be afraid to offer your support. Let them know that the offer to help is on the table.

11. “Give it your best."

We will never win it all, do it all, or be it all. But we can give it our best. Let's teach our kids this lesson.

12. “I know it's hard, but I have seen you do it before."

It can seem overwhelming, but let's give them evidence of when they have been successful before. This will instill the confidence that they can do it again.

13. “You are enough."

It doesn't matter what the outcome—they need to know they are enough just the way they are.

14. “You make me proud."

Straight and to the point—you can never tell your child this enough.

15. “Even when we get frustrated, we still love each other."

Feelings like frustration, anger and hopelessness are all common human emotions. And despite these big feelings we will stand by the side of our children with unconditional love.

16. “I wonder what would happen if…"

Try to evoke curiosity and a new way of thinking by wondering about the possibilities.

17. “Do you know what grit means?"

Kids love learning new words. Teach them about grit, resilience and perseverance to help them reach towards these goals.

18. “Want to hear a story?"

Share stories with your kids. Tell them about times when you overcame obstacles, met your goals, and reached for the stars.

19. “Do you want to try something crazy?"

Challenge your children with things they think are beyond reach (even if it sounds a little crazy). They might surprise you and themselves.

20. “Sometimes new things can seem scary, but they can be exciting."

Young children tend to cling toward people and environments that are familiar. But if we emphasize how exciting and joyful that new experiences can be, we can encourage the confidence to venture out of the comfort zone.

21. “I know you tried your hardest and I am proud of that effort."

When we see them working hard and giving it their all, we can recognize this effort. After all, life is about the journey, not the destination.

22. “It looks like you are curious about this, let's take a deeper look."

Encourage curiosity and exploration in children of all ages. As a result, they will be more likely to seek out new information and experiences with confidence.

23. “Sometimes we make mistakes, and that is how we learn."

Start the conversation about growing, changing and taking risks. With each challenge and accomplishment, the sense of self-esteem will grow.

24. “How did you challenge yourself today?"

Start the conversation about growing, changing and taking risks. With each challenge and accomplishment, the sense of self-esteem will grow.

25. “Repeat after me, 'I can do it.'"

Positive affirmations are powerful—they can rewire the brain. When we teach our children to use positive affirmations from an early age they will reap the benefits as they grow.

There is no denying that every baby is born with their very own personality and now you're really starting to see that emerge! Whether your buddy is silly or more serious, we bet you are loving this time of really getting to know each other.

At this point, you're probably feeling like your baby changes by the minute, and watching this transformation is so much fun. But let's face it: Their increasing mobility and newfound independence can throw a mama for a major loop. Just when you start to feel like you've mastered this new mom thing, your baby goes and changes the game.

As you also know by now, life isn't slowing down very much. Some mamas prefer diving right back into their "former life" as soon as possible after their baby's arrival; others are only starting to dip their toes back into those waters. You do you, mama!

Either way, adding these products to your personal and parenting toolkits can make these transitions so much easier (and more enjoyable, too!).

For soothing baby bottoms: The Honest Company diaper rash cream

Honest diaper cream

As the food your baby eats changes, so too may their dirty diapers. If that's causing some irritation, you'll want to stock up on some fast-acting diaper rash cream.

$9.99

For baby-proofing: Safety 1st childproofing essentials kit

Safety First

With mobility in your near future, now is the time to give your house a safety once-over. We're still waiting for an explanation as to why babies gravitate straight to household hazards, but prepare yourself before they find those eye-level outlets.

$5.99

When baby has something to say: ‘Baby Signs’ board book

Baby signs

Long before you can have conversations, baby sign language can give your baby an effective way to communicate their needs. Our favorite starter signs are 'milk,' 'more' and 'all done.'

$10.99

A friend for peekaboo: Bright Starts belly laugh puppy

Bright Starts

Between the ages of 4 and 7 months, babies generally develop their sense of object permanence, which means they understand that something isn't gone forever when it's out of sight. This also means they're in on the joke during a fun game of peekaboo!

$12.59

For introducing new flavors: Plum Organics stage 2 baby food

Plum Organics

As you continue to add more options to your baby's diet, some organic, pre-made pouches are both convenient and delicious. (For your baby, at least—although we'll say some of the flavors aren't that bad.)

$4.89

For at-home date night: Scrabble board game

Scrabble

Mix up your at-home entertainment options with a 2-person board game. For stakes, have the loser take out the diaper trash for a week!

$16.19

For wine night: Threshold stainless steel wine glasses

Threshold

Long-stem, breakable wine glasses and babies just don't mix—but if you're planning an at-home date night or hosting a few friends, these durable glasses are a fantastic option.

$6.99

For jeans you love now: Universal Thread high-waist jeans

Universal Thread

It's a fact: Pregnancy and motherhood change our bodies in ways beyond what a scale measures. There is something incredibly empowering about embracing your body for exactly how it is today by finding a pair of jeans you feel comfortable in now.

$19.99

For a home refresh: Project 62 shag rug

Project 62

When you have a baby with crawling in the horizon, it's a good time for a plush, comfortable rug to spruce up the living room. It will see a lot of playtime in the future, so go for something large in size.

$199.99

For healthy snacks on hand: (re)zip reusable lunch bags

rezip bags

Keeping up with your baby can work up quite the appetite, so it helps to keep some options on hand that are healthy for both you and the environment. Cut up some veggies at the beginning of the week and stash them in these reusable bags for easy, eco-friendly meal prep.

$19.99

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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How often do we see a "misbehaving" child and think to ourselves, that kid needs more discipline? How often do we look at our own misbehaving child and think the same thing?

Our society is conditioned to believe that we have to be strict and stern with our kids, or threaten, shame or punish them into behaving. This authoritarian style of parenting is characterized by high expectations and low responsiveness—a tough love approach.

But while this type of authoritarian parenting may elicit "obedient" kids in the short-term, studies suggest that children who are shamed or punished in the name of discipline face challenges in the long-term. Research suggests that children who are harshly disciplined or shamed tend to be less happy, less independent, less confident, less resilient, more aggressive and hostile, more fearful and at higher risk for substance abuse and mental health issues as adults and adolescents.

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The reason? No one ever changes from being shamed.

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