When it comes to raising kids, it’s important to compliment your son in a way that boosts self-esteem and confidence. It’s also important to push back on old stereotypes of how boys are supposed to behave. How do you do that? For starters, an open line of communication and positive feedback for your little guy are total musts. We’ve come up with 13 simple things you can say every day, keep reading to see them all.

1. You are a good friend. Teaching kids about the power of healthy relationships is the key to raising strong adults.  

2. I can see how hard you worked on this project. Focus on how he overcame the challenge and what he accomplished.

3. I am proud of you. Because kids need to hear this from their parents. Every. Day.


4. Those cool sneakers probably help you run fast. Instead of focusing on how those sneakers are perfect for boys or “manly,” point out something they’ll help your son do better.

5. I love the way you dance. Because dancing is a form of pure joy and it isn’t just for girls.

6. Your compassion for others is fantastic. In the past, boys have been taught to keep compassion under wraps, but we need to encourage more of it.


7. I trust you. It's important kids know you trust them—it sets up for good communication once they hit the tween years.

8. You keep being you. Boys are often told they must act a certain way. Celebrate his uniqueness instead.

9. I love how you solved that problem on your own. Kids need to try (and fail) to succeed. Give him props for his determination. 

10. Thanks for giving me a hug, I needed that. As kids grow older, they're less likely to want to snuggle up with mom or dad. When they do show affection, let them know how much you appreciate it. 

11. You have an amazing imagination. Boys aren’t always propped up for their creative skills. It’s time for a change.

12. You are a good listener. Help your son learn how to treat others with respect by complimenting him when he listens. 

13. I'm so happy you're in my life. After all, wouldn't you want to hear that from someone you love?

—Gabby Cullen


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