Discover The 60 Best Encouraging Words for Kids!

By Paula McLaren •  Updated: 11/11/21 •  13 min read

Today I’m going to share with you my Top 60 Encouraging Words For Kids & explain WHY they’re so important!

Over my 40+ years of parenting experience, these words have NEVER failed me.

And the real reason that words of encouragement are so important is that… 

How you treat and speak to your children will determine how they treat others and your encouraging words and kindness, patience and understanding will establish who they will become and how they will behave later in life.

So read on to find the best inspiring quotes, encouraging words for kids, kindergarteners and positive messages for all ages of children!

Let’s dive right in!

“Words are free, words are easy and words are precious.”

– Paula –

9 Benefits Of Using Encouraging Words For Kids

There are HUGE benefits to using inspiring words for kids. Here are 9 you need to know about!

  1. Strengthens your child’s sense of self worth!
  2. Boosts self esteem.
  3. Encourages your children to try hard.
  4. Nurtures kindness towards others!
  5. Boosts positive behaviour!
  6. Motivates your child to reach new goals.
  7. Encourages self motivation and perseverance.
  8. Focuses on good behaviour!
  9. Helps to deflect and downplay bad behaviour.
  10. Creates a positive and happy atmosphere within the home!
Words of encouragement for kids Featured Image

How Do You Inspire Children With Words?

Self-worth can begin to develop in children as young as 2 years old!

And the words that we use as parents are fundamentally important in the development of how our children view themselves.

It is so important, therefore, to inspire your children by doing positive things and using encouraging words in everyday life!

As parents, we should never underestimate the power of our words.

Encouraging words for kids can be used in so many different ways…

You have the power as a parent to inspire your children in all aspects of life by focusing on positive things and using the correct words!

Used in the correct context, our affirmations for kids can teach our children so much about kindness, understanding, and self-worth…

So, it is important to choose our words wisely while being mindful of the power they have from day one!

And as they grow, how you interact with your children and respond to them and their achievements will make the difference between them feeling worthy or not.

So, whether it be your 2-year-old’s painting, a celebration of when they first put on their shoes or just telling them that you love them…

Use encouraging words and remember the power of they have!

REMEMBER: Your words should inspire and motivate your children to be the best they can possibly be in an unconditional way.

Top 10 Encouraging Words For Kids!

Before we get into the full list of encouraging words for kids, here are my top 10 to get you started!

Click here to see my full list of 60 Encouraging Words For Kids! and discover my Free Printable Quote Sheet too!

  1. Thank you!
  2. You can do it!
  3. Wow! You did it all by yourself.
  4. Shall we try again?
  5. I’m listening.
  6. I am so proud of you.
  7. That was tough but you did it!
  8. I love you.
  9. Thank you for sharing.
  10. That was so kind of you.

What To Say To Encourage A Child?

Using positive language appropriately is the KEY.

You don’t want to sound like you are gushing and praising at every turn…

But rather motivating, praising, encouraging and rewarding good behaviour and effort in a natural and nurturing way!

The below video is a perfect example of what to say… it captures words of encouragement PERFECTLY!

So, if you’ve got a spare minute, I’d really recommend giving it a watch

1. Avoid Over Praising

Over praising is not what you are aiming for.

So when looking for the right words of encouragement for kids, try to be sincere and not to fall into the trap of hollow praise.

2. Use Descriptive Praise

Making your encouraging words specific is also another good way to motivate and praise your children.

I find that descriptive praise works really well especially with children that are struggling to take direction.

3. Be Positive And Enthusiastic When Encouraging

Try to learn to build positivity into the way you approach everyday ups and downs as your children will be looking to you to learn how to deal with these.

If you are constantly moaning and grumbling they will think that is how you should behave, so try to be as positive as you can in their presence and save the moaning for when they are in bed.

Remember, regular praise and using encouraging words throughout the day are EXTREMELY important and it’s so easy to let these little triumphs pass by without recognition….

So, as a parent, a good habit to get into is noticing and praising the little things.

Therefore, make a star chart, see who can get dressed the quickest, celebrate small victories and reward tidying up the playroom with sitting down with you to do a book or puzzle!

“Be enthusiastic and positive. It will help lead to positive behaviours.”

– Paula –

4. Make Your Children Feel Good About Themselves

Take opportunities to use encouraging words to point out and model acts of kindness and consideration towards others.

Your well-chosen words of encouragement for kids will make them feel good inside and this positive feeling will motivate them to behave this way in the future…

Not just for you… but for the way it makes them feel too!

TOP TIP: Children thrive on love and attention.

So, praise their efforts and hard work and they will be inspired to do well and keep going!

5. Explain ‘Why’ To Your Kids

To find the right encouraging words to help your children behave you will sometimes need to explain why…

And this can be done in a positive way to achieve the desired end result WITHOUT shouting or shaming.

For example, if your little one is jumping on the sofa don’t tell them how much the sofa cost and how hard you had to work for it…

Instead, explain that chairs are for sitting on and that floors are for feet! 

Often, giving children a little mantra to live by will help them behave in the future.

“Chairs are for sitting on, floors are for feet.”

– Paula –

6. Don’t Shame Your Children

Shaming your children into good behaviour by telling them they are naughty or bad or that they have hurt your feelings does NOT encourage good behaviour…

It simply just chips away at your little one’s self-worth.

To a child, what you deem disrespectful is usually a lot of fun to them…

And as they do not yet understand the value of items bought and paid for by you, they have no concept that what they are doing is wrong.

While it is important for children to empathise and care about how others feel… it is more productive to lead by example and talk to them rather than by trying to make them feel bad.

TOP TIP: Sowing the seeds of respectful behaviour with explanations will reap the reward later on as your children grow and you should continue to guide them with kind, encouraging and positive words RATHER than harsh child discipline.

7. NEVER Use Comparison Praise As Encouragement

Comparison praise is when you compare your child’s behaviour to that of their siblings or peers.

These are NOT words of encouragement for kids and they will not make your child feel good about themselves or motivated to do better.

These words will only make your child feel inadequate and make your children feel they always have to be the best to be valued.

Comparison praise runs the danger of making your children feel worthless when they fail and I cannot think of any instance when comparison praise is appropriate.

“I Love You”

“Thank You”

“I Believe You”

8. Acknowledge Your Children

Acknowledging how your little one is feeling can help them deal with disappointment when you are saying ‘no’ to something they really want to do. 

So, try saying “I know” rather than “no” when transitioning from one activity to another or when declining a request from your child.

This is an acknowledgement that you understand their feelings and will help your child learn to balance their emotions with the changing situation.

I’m not saying that you will never meet with resistance from your little one even if you follow these guidelines… (everyone has bad days!)

But trying to find the right words for kids is a work in progress and as parents, we are always learning new ways to encourage and help our children to be the best that they can be! 

REMEMBER: Young children need time to move from one activity to the next and time to process the transition.

9. Help Your Child Understand Their Feelings

Finding encouraging words when your child is having a meltdown is not always easy, but helping them understand their feelings is a good way to try.

By acknowledging your child’s feelings and offering an acceptable alternative for them to get rid of their overwhelming emotions…

You will be guiding them towards learning how to deal with these emotions in a healthy and open way.

“Acknowledge their feelings. Use “I know” rather than “No”.”

– Paula –

10. Praise Effort As Well As Success

Encouraging your kids when they have done a good job or behaved well are obvious ways to be positive and encouraging. 

However, it is just as important to praise and encourage their efforts too.

Making your children feel good about trying their best is such an IMPORTANT life lesson to teach them how to deal with disappointment and failure later on in life!

Effort deserves a value. 

Because if there is only a fear of failure in your children and being successful and the best are all that’s encouraged… then life can be very disappointing and unfulfilling.

60 Encouraging Words For Kids!

Here are my Top 60 Very Best Encouraging Words For Kids!

Remember to check out my Free PRINTABLE Quote Sheet for on hand words of encouragement for kids at the bottom of this article!

  1. Let’s do something fun together!
  2. Well spotted!
  3. Let’s have fun!
  4. You are kind.
  5. It’s OK to make a mistake.
  6. It’s OK to feel sad.
  7. I’m so proud of you.
  8. You are precious.
  9. That is beautiful!
  10. I love our cuddles.
  11.  We love you a lot.
  12. Thank you for sharing.
  13. I love you.
  14. I missed you.
  15. You tried so hard, well done.
  16. I think you can do it!
  17. You make me smile.
  18. Good remembering!
  19. I’m listening.
  20. You make me laugh.
  21. Good for you!
  22. It makes me happy when you laugh.
  23. Let’s see what we can do to fix it.
  24. What fun things can we do today?
  25. Those were such kind words!
  26. It is OK to feel angry.
  27. Thank you.
  28. Everyone feels upset sometimes.
  29. I believe you.
  30. It feels good to share.
  31. You can do it!
  32. Keep trying you are almost there!
  33. Wow, you did it!
  34. That was great!
  35. Thank you for helping.
  36. You are so helpful.
  37. That looks great.
  38. Clever thinking!
  39. Would you like some help?
  40. Thank you for trying so hard.
  41. You were so helpful today.
  42. That was so kind of you!
  43. Good thinking!
  44. Wow, you did it all by yourself!
  45. Nearly there!
  46. That was tough, but you did it!
  47. Shall we have another go?
  48. What would you like to do?
  49. Who wants to be my champion helper today?
  50. What do you think?
  51. Shall we try again?
  52. We can try again tomorrow?
  53. I know you can do it!
  54. You tried really hard.
  55. Tell me about your picture.
  56. You are learning.
  57. That was really fun!
  58. That is interesting.
  59. You are funny!
  60. I am so happy for you!

Feeling Inspired? Be sure to check out my PRINTABLE Quote Sheet so you can have these quotes with you at all times! 

TOP TIP: Vary your words of praise to keep them fresh and meaningful.

When To Use Encouraging Words?

In all honesty, I believe you can use encouraging words all the time.

You see… finding the right words of encouragement for kids is not always easy and we should choose our words wisely as we try to help our children deal with tricky situations, frustration, disappointment and having to sometimes do things they don’t want to do.

But you can take lots of opportunities to praise and encourage by paying attention to the little things your children do.

Simply saying things like “thank you for coming quickly when I called” or “thank you for playing quietly on your own while I was working” can make a BIG difference to your little one’s day.

11 Top Tips When Giving Words Of Encouragement To Kids

  1. Give unprompted praise when they have done something good (i.e. sharing without being asked).
  2. Praise effort as well as success.
  3. Always acknowledge good behaviour.
  4. Explain what they did that you are praising them for (descriptive praise).
  5. Look them in the eye and use their name when you praise them.
  6. Use your words wisely and be empathetic.
  7. Don’t criticise or compare in an attempt to encourage good behaviour.
  8. Lead by example.
  9. Focus on your child’s strengths.
  10. Be optimistic with your praise.
  11. Don’t over praise.

Free Printable Quote Sheet:

Encouraging Words For Younger Kids Infographic

So Remember…

As your children grow older, your encouraging words for kids will become more challenging and in-depth.

But if you have nurtured an encouraging environment from a young age, your older child will value the words of advice and encouragement that you offer them as they grow!

Remember to…

Now it’s down to you:

Which encouraging quotes will you try implementing today?

If you know any other parents who would enjoy this content too, please feel free to share it around!

And until next time, with love and support, Happy Parenting!

REMEMBER: Never underestimate the power of encouraging words as they are probably, along with your actions, the most important gifts you can give to your children.

Paula McLaren

Paul Mclaren - Norland Nurse NNEB RSH is the founder of Teething to Tantrums and has been in the child care industry as a Norland Nanny since 1982. Since then, her mission has been to help parents become the best they can possibly be. And each year, she continues to help more families understand their child's development, the trials and joys of parenting and of course, how to care for their little ones.

Keep Reading