It probably goes without saying that parents are always feeling proud of their kids for one reason or another, whether your son finished a difficult reading assignment or your daughter scored her first soccer goal. But just as important as their accomplishment is how you show your kids that feeling of pride. From words of encouragement to simple acts of appreciation, here are 20 great ways parents can show their kids they are proud of them.

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1. Say “I’m proud of you.” First and foremost, tell your kiddo you’re proud of them when the time arises. You don’t have to say this every day, but those words are encouragement are very meaningful to kids when they hear it from mom or dad.

2. Write them a note. Express pride by writing a little note or giving your little one a card or drawing that tells them you’re proud of who they are as people or praises them for an accomplishment.

3. Talk about the obstacles. If your kid is struggling with an activity such as soccer or reading, offer support and recognize the obstacles he’s facing.  At the same time, express your pride that your kiddo is facing those challenges.

4. Make cookies. Nothing says love and pride like homemade chocolate chip cookies. Bake a batch of cookies and offer one to your son or daughter for being a great kid. Not a baker? Treat your kiddo to a cookie at the bakery counter at the grocery store instead.

5. Say you’re proud in front of others. It’s one thing if you tell your daughter you’re proud of her. It’s another when she hears you saying it to grandma or grandpa. Tell others how proud you are when your kids do something worthy of praise.

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6. Don’t forget the small stuff. Of course, parents are proud when their son scores a goal or accomplishes a major milestone. But don’t forget to show pride and offer words of encouragement when your kiddo does something small, such as help to set the table or read a book to her younger sibling.

7. Read a book to your kiddo about how you feel. Express pride through a children’s book or story. After you finish reading the book, explain to your little one that the pride you feel is just like what the characters in the book feel.

8. Do an activity together. Show your kids how proud you are of them by participating in a family activity together. If your kids have been working on improving their physical activity, sign the family up for a 1-mile fun run and explain that it’s a family reward.

9. Hug them. Showing affection is always a good thing. A hug not only expresses love but can also show your little one you’re proud of them too.

10. Praise your son/daughter for the things they’re working on. Recognize the process itself is an accomplishment. Tell your son you’re proud of his work on accomplishing the larger goal still being worked on.

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11. Go to the park, a movie or an outing. If you want something more than words of encouragement, look for an activity to do together as a way to express pride. A trip to the park, movie or museum is a great expression of pride.

12. Tell them you’re grateful to be their parent. We’re proud of our kids for what they do, but make sure your little one knows you’re also proud to be their parent too.

13. Say “I believe in you.” You’ve told your kiddo you’re proud, but what about telling them you also believe in them and have confidence in their choices. That’s a point of pride in itself.

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14. Praise your kiddo for the great choices they make. Tell your little ones why you’re proud of them by explaining how they’ve made good choices. Hearing that and the words of encouragement will only motivate them to continue their positive behavior.

15. Give a small gift. You don’t want to make it a habit of expressing pride through gift-giving. But perhaps there’s a special circumstance when your kid has been working hard on accomplishing a goal. When she reaches the goal, give her a small gift and tell her how proud you are.

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16. Say “thank you.” It’s often these words of encouragement and daily conversations with our little ones that the greatest impact. Expressing thanks is just one way to share words of encouragement and pride.

17. Point out the positive in a negative situation. So often, we get too focused on the negative situations that occur every day. For every negative instance, try focusing on something positive your kiddo did and tell him you’re proud of that.

18. Don’t forget to be proud if they own up to their mistakes. Your son may have accidentally broke an item at home, but he told you what happened. It’s okay to be upset about the broken object, but make sure to tell your son you’re proud that he told the truth. This will make future confessions easier.

19. Let your kiddo decide what’s for dinner. Maybe you have a picky eater at home who just went an entire week eating her veggies. Express your pride in that accomplishment by letting her pick the Friday night dinner.

20. Hang the accomplishment on the fridge. If you’re proud your kiddo did well on an exam or drew a pretty picture, display it proudly on the refrigerator or bulletin board for family and friends to see.

— Leah R. Singer

 

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