Being a mum or dad and navigating parenthood can often bring about triggers from our own childhood experiences. It can remind us of some of the best moments from our childhood, and also some of the worst. These experiences and how we were parented as children will often influence the type of parent we want to be.
When you see your child in a challenging behaviour, it can be triggering, and whether consciously aware of it or not, your own childhood experiences can come into your mind and affect how you might respond to or interact with your child. For some, this happens when witnessing your little one crying or yelling, throwing a tantrum, not sleeping well, refusing to eat their food, or displaying undesirable behaviour such as hitting or biting.
It can be hard to respond from a place of calm when you are feeling triggered or are overwhelmed by your own feelings. This can be made even more difficult when your child is also in a state of heightened emotion. Sometimes it can be helpful to take a step back and picture yourself as a child.
What did you need to hear in those moments when you made a mess, didn't want to do your homework, wouldn't eat your dinner, or hit your sibling?
What did you need from your parent or caregiver in those moments?
What would have helped you to learn in a gentle and compassionate way?
What did you need to hear as a child, that you can tell your little one now?
Below we share with you 30 statements of affirmation that all kids should hear to help them feel safe, loved and cared for, especially during the hard moments.
I love you just as you are.
Your feelings are important.
Your thoughts are interesting and matter to me.
You are safe.
It's okay for us to disagree.
I think you are awesome.
You did that so well.
You are so kind/caring/thoughtful.
You are the kind of friend I wanted when I was your age.
I appreciate you so much.
It's okay to feel sad. What do you need?
It's okay to make mistakes.
You are so worthy.
How can I support you?
You are so funny/creative.
You are a great person.
You can do hard things.
You make me laugh!
I love having you around.
You have a really big heart.
You are allowed to stand up for yourself.
You are so valuable.
I am proud of you.
It's okay to say "no".
You are so good at trying new things.
You are a great example.
It's okay to cry. I'm right here.
I can see how hard you try.
I love you.