As parents, we all want to build our children up; to help them see in themselves all the good, light, and magic that WE see in them. As photographers, we absolutely love talking to parents about their kids; we love hearing the pride in your voices, seeing the smiles on your faces as you tell us about your children’s personalities, quirks, talents.
Of course, we all want our kids to know how much we love them – and they do. We also want them to love themselves. We want them to feel empowered, to know how amazing they are. Here are some things we can say to help them build themselves up:
1. I love you
2. You are so clever
3. You make us so proud – are you proud of yourself?
4. It’s OK to ask for help
5. Your dreams are important
6. You can do anything you set your mind to
7. You can’t always change the situation but you can control how you respond to it
8. I love how [kind, funny, talented, etc] you are
9. It’s OK to feel scared or unsure
10. Accidents happen, but we can try to find a way to fix it
11. You are worth it
12. You can choose for yourself
13. Never stop trying
14. If you believe in something, it’s important
15. You don’t have to be like your friends
16. I trust you
17. Your opinion matters
18. You can say yes (or no!)
19. Your words have meaning
20. I believe in you
Giving your children a sense of self-confidence and empowerment doesn’t mean losing your authority or giving in to them and their wants; it’s about making them feel heard, feel like their voice, thoughts and emotions matter, and helping them start to recognise their own sense of self. It’s about validating them, helping them know their worth, and reminding them that they’re enough – just the way they are.