The school years can be tough, and for kids, words of encouragement at both the beginning and the end of the day can make the difference between a just-okay day and an amazing day. Whether it’s on the walk to the bus or during after-school snack time, there’s always a chance for you to remind your kids how important they are to you, how much you believe in them, and how you just can’t wait to hear all about it! We gathered 20 phrases and words of encouragement that can add a dose of positivity to your child’s day (at any time), so keep reading to see them all.
1. I can't wait to see what your day brings. Put a positive spin on their daily morning routine when they fly out the door to catch the bus.
2. Do your best! Send them off with good vibes so they'll be primed to achieve whatever they put their minds to.
3. Can I get a hug? Shh ... this one's really more about you than them, but they don't need to know that. Hugs at the beginning of the day send a clear message of love to your little one.
4. I'll think about you today! Just this one simple phrase lets your child know that he'll be on your mind throughout the day, and sometimes that's enough of a boost.
5. Do you have everything you need? It's an easy question, but just asking it can assure both you and your child that she is prepared for her day. Lunch (or lunch money), homework, books, a special toy ... whatever it is, taking a moment to ask and make sure she has what she needs to have a happy and successful day lets her know that you care.
6. You look great! Although this one can bring a smile to the young ones as well, it's really a good saying to throw to the older kids as they trudge out the door into a social-media-driven world that can have seriously adverse effects on self-esteem.
7. You've got this! School is tough, much tougher than when we were kids, and the everyday pressures of homework, tests, quizzes, projects and more ... well, it's enough to make even the most self-assured kid second guess his or her abilities. Just giving your child one final boost of positivity as he scrambles out the door can be enough to boost that self confidence for the rest of the day.
8. I'll be right here when you get back. There are hours that are going to pass between taking your child to school and picking him up, and in that time, a lot can happen. Let him know that you're going to be right there when he's finished with his day, whether good or bad. This tiny little assurance can help slightly-younger nervous kids take often difficult steps towards school.
9. I can't wait to hear about your day! Encourage your children to look for the positive in the day by letting them know you'll be ready to hear all about it when you see each other again.
10. Thanks for sharing your day with me. Nothing says, “I’m listening” after the day’s download quite like this one. Frasier Crane would be proud.
11. I’m so happy you’re home. I missed you. Because even though parents joke about alone time, we’re happiest when our kids are by our sides.
12. You roll with the punches like a champ. Busy families have ever-changing schedules where flexibility is key, and just letting your little ones know that you recognize their ability to be flexible too is important.
13. Thanks for helping out with … when they go above and beyond to keep your family’s groove grooving, let them know how proud you are!
14. Your thoughtfulness shines through. Save this one for the simple gestures they make throughout the day, like helping out a friend or sharing with a sibling.
15. I was thinking about you today when … sharing your day with them lets kids know they’re loved, even when you’re not around to show it.
16. Your joy puts a smile on my face too. This one makes an impact when they come off the bus or through the door with big smiles.
17. I’ll bet your friends/teacher appreciated your ___________ today. Insert your favorite adjective here; no matter which one you choose, letting your kids know others see this same quality in them is super empowering.
18. It sounds like you worked hard today. Whether they took a tough test, ran a mile in P.E. or just tried their best, praise that perseverance. Go grit!
19. What do you want to do now? Set aside some time for when kids first come home from school to let them relax and unwind in their own way, whether that be stopping by the library or ice cream shop, or just having free time to run around the yard. Their day has been stressful too, and letting them choose how to spend the first bit after school can be a powerful tone-setter for the rest of the evening.
20. I'm so proud of you. A phrase that's important for kids (and adults!) of all ages—use it often, but especially at the end of a hard day at school.
—Laura Holloway with Allison Sutcliffe