5 Things Every Child Needs To Hear from their Mother & Father

A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames
4 min readAug 26, 2018


Do you remember what it was like hearing words of encouragement from your parents? Or hearing your parents say “I’m proud of you?” Those were good times. To hear your parents tell you how proud they are of you. Nothing else came close as a child.

People today don’t talk to their children like the parents in the past. Maybe because children are glued to social media or X Box. Parents today think that children do not pay attention to what they have to say, but that isn’t so. They listen, they might not show it, but they do. And it isn’t just our words that children pay attention to either.

Kids take everything their parents say seriously even if they don’t show it so it’s important for parents to choose their words wisely. Deep down they don’t crave compliments, they want to hear words which teach them to trust themselves and more importantly, trust their parents’ love.

Our children pay attention to our actions also. A child who grows up with one or both parents who smokes, ends up with a child who probably will smoke. The same goes for drinking, children who grow up in a household where one or more parents drinks, they have a good chance of being a drinker themselves . . . whether they are a social drinker or a problematic drinker.

We know what it’s like to not be heard or to be ignored. The last generation or two has come from families who has had to have two incomes to survive; they also come from a one-parent household . . . usually run by a single-mom (but not necessarily always). So, we went without a lot, we went without a lot of attention from our parents.

Children need certain things in life and it’s the parent’s job to provide. Children, whether it’s the children of yesteryear or the modern child, they need the necessities of life: Food, shelter, and clothing.
Besides the physical things for survival, they need the emotional things for survival also. For their emotional survival, we need to talk to our children. Words are important. Words can build a child up or knock them down.

I’ve made a quick list of things children need to hear from their parents.

I love you.

These are the least spoken words spoken from parents to their children yet, “I love you” are the most important words children need to hear. Indeed, you can never say “I love you” too many times. Hearing these three words reminds children they matter and are important.

I’m proud of you.

Don’t just say “I’m proud of you,” tell your children WHY you are proud of them: Be specific. Maybe your child is good at sports. Maybe they are good at music or art. Or maybe they performed a random act of kindness. Let them know why you are proud of them.

Children, as well as adults need to know someone believes in them. They need to know that what they do matters. Hearing the words “I’m proud of you” encourages them to work even harder.

Every success a child accomplishes, whether large or small should be celebrated.

I’m sorry.

When I’m with my daughter and I make a mistake. I always say “I’m sorry” even though she is only two years old. Don’t let pride slow you down. Pride should never get in your way to ask your child [and don’t forget about your partner either]for forgiveness. When we say “we’re sorry” we are letting children know that we have accepted our mistakes.

Kids take everything their parents say seriously even if they don’t show it so it’s important for parents to choose their words wisely.

I forgive you.

Children are bound to make mistakes, just like we do; they are humans also . . . just smaller versions. Forgiving someone is a powerful gift we certainly need to give to our children. And forgiving your partner in your child’s presence sends a strong message.

Love and forgiveness are two actions that are intertwined, and cannot be separated. To love is to forgive; without forgiveness, there is no love. When a child makes a mistake, they need to hear they are forgiven.

I’m listening.

When your child starts school or being around other children regularly, control comes in a distant second place to influence. Your child will be bombarded from all directions trying to gain their attention: social media, their friends, television, movies.

So, the best way to gain their attention is by listening and asking them questions. Lecturing doesn’t work, in fact it will disparage the child. Asking questions and then listening, will do more than buying them an iPhone or the newest gadget.

Children need to feel your attention and affirming that you are, in fact, listening to them. The only way to accomplish this is by actually giving them attention and asking questions.

Using these words correctly is paramount; these words will do wonders for a family. But you can’t just say them once and never again, they have to be said on a regular basis and by that I don’t mean in a way that seems like it is scheduled; say them when the situation appears that the words are needed.

To be affective, you have to sit with your child, one on one and talk, whether it be at McDonalds or in their bedroom. But don’t just talk, listen also. Let the child do the talking and you do the listening for once.

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A Grain of Salt | ElbyJames

ElbyJames is an American disabled combat vet exiled in the UK & a free speech absolutist. He’s an occasional Top Writer .