5 Phrases Your Child Says & What They Mean

If you didn’t already know, I have two daughters; one who will be three in April and the other who turned one last year in October. Lately, I’ve been thinking about Words and the importance of them.

As a parent, we could either use our words wisely or foolishly.

“Our words can be helpful or hurtful.”

I have been observing my first-born and have noticed several phrases that she says and if I’m not careful, they’re just sounds rather than words with meaning.

If you can relate to me, I’d appreciate it if you would share this post to remind other moms & dads the importance of our words.

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“MOMMY / DADDY, LOOK AT ME!”

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They need AND want your attention. Children need AND want to know that they are being noticed; that someone is watching them and realizing their accomplishments or milestones in life. I am so guilty of being on my phone, sometimes around my children; (whether it be for work or to be on social media). While those aren’t necessarily bad, I wonder what my toddler thinks when I’m on my phone rather than pay attention to her? Moms, let’s do better and be better for them. The phone can wait… but the time with your child cannot be taken back.

“I DID IT, MOMMY / DADDY!”

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I didn’t have my mom around, growing up. I left the Philippines to come to the US, along with my dad & older sibling when I was 5 and we left my mom and two younger siblings. I didn’t get to say the words, “I did it, Mommy” when I got an award or won something at school. My dad was in the Military and most of my elementary to Jr. high years, my dad wasn’t around either.  So I didn’t get the “Praise” or “Congratulations” that I longed for…

Now, that I have my own family and am raising my two wonderful daughters with my amazing husband, I am careful to constantly give praise, encouragement, or congratulations when I hear the words, “I did it, Mommy!” However, I know that there is always room for improvement.

Children long for you to praise them; to let them know that YOU SAW the great deed that they did. Whether it be obeying you, helping you do chores around the house, or sharing with others, children want to hear something from you when they do or say something right. They want affirmation. I read online recently that “the lack of both parents’ affirmation leaves some children emotionally crippled.”

While I was emotionally effected that I didn’t have both of parents’ affirmation, I am so thankful that my Almighty God did not forsake me. (Psalm 27:10) And it is only by God’s grace that I am what I am today.

Not only do children want you to praise them, but they want you to sincerely mean what you say. They`want to see on your face that whatever comes out of your mouth is genuine, not two-faced or double-standard, which leads us to our next phrase…

“THAT’S BAD-BAD, MOMMY/ DADDY!”

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           Whether you like it or not or whether you believe it or not, you are your child’s role model. They look up to you for most, if not everything. Whatever you say, whatever you like, whatever you listen to or watch, they want to have a part in that. They truly believe in their heart that their mom and dad are the best people in the world (unless of course, they are hypocrites – they say one thing but do the exact opposite). In the case of hypocrisy… well, that’s for another blog post!

Children are smarter than we think. They catch on to the littlest things we do or say. Not only do you make it difficult for your child to respect you, but it becomes difficult on the family as a whole when the parents act differently from what they say.

We are not against Technology. In fact, my husband and I love it and are so appreciative of it! My daughter uses our iPad to watch videos on Youtube. If there is a certain song or type of song or video that comes on and Mommy & Daddy don’t approve of it, she knows to change it… Sometimes, she needs to be reminded but if you start training your children early enough, they’ll catch on. If you have children that are already in school and you feel like it’s too late to start training them, then friend, let me tell you that it’s not. There’s always hope. It probably won’t be as easy as if you had done it sooner but it’s NEVER too late to start. AND DON’T FORGET TO BE CONSISTENT and don’t let them get away with anything!

“I’M SORRY, MOMMY/ DADDY.”

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       Kids will be kids. They do foolish things at times but that isn’t a reason for us parents to love them less. In fact, it’s for us to show them more love. When a child says, “I’m sorry,” they are demonstrating humility. They understand that what they did wasn’t acceptable. However, it should’t stop there. As parents, we should ask them (don’t tell them, unless they really, absolutely do not know why) if they know what they did wrong. After asking them, we should tell them that when they do something wrong, it doesn’t just affect them. It hurts Mommy, Daddy, Jesus, and whomever they hurt or offended.

Remember, no one is perfect. You and I both make mistakes. So let’s stop expecting our children to be something they aren’t. They are still learning just as we are as parents. No one has this “Parenting Thing” down and neither is any child an expert at being a child. In addition, each child is different. God made each person unique. Some learn quicker, others slower; Some need more attention than others. So let’s not expect or treat them like they’re perfect, because that will only make things worse.

“MOMMY / DADDY, PLEASE HELP ME.”

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One thing I love and sometimes “dislike” (just because I don’t want use the word, hate) about children is their dependency on us as parents. When I first became a mom in 2014, I loved that my child depended on me to carry her, comfort her, and adore her but there were times when I was so tired that all I wanted to do was sleep but she wanted to eat, play, get her diaper changed, or be carried.

As the years went by, my first-born learned to be a little less dependent on me and a little more dependent on herself. Now, she can feed herself, go to the potty (still with a little assistance getting onto the toilet), and play house with her toys. All this self-dependency comes in handy when I want to take a nap or get some chores done.

But when I hear those words, “Please help me,” my child is trying to get her message across to me that she needs assistance or maybe just a little boost (physically or mentally) to accomplish something. What I love about doing this is hearing her next words, “Thank you, Mommy!” They are dependent on you for some things but when you assist them, they learn how to appreciate you and the help you give them. You don’t have to always tell them,“When someone helps you or does something nice for you, say ‘Thank you’,  you can just show them in your everyday life and they will catch on and remember that.

There will be times when they ask for your help when you are busy; you either have to tell them to be patient and wait till Mommy /Daddy is done or stop whatever you are doing and help them. I am guilty of sometimes getting frustrated when my LG asks for help during the “wrong times” (at least in my book), but she sees that and she remembers it. It may even cause her to think that asking for help is a bad thing when it really isn’t. Then, when we ask them, “Why didn’t you ask for my help?” They are thinking to themselves, “Well, when I asked you for help last time, you were too busy” or “I thought it was wrong to ask you for help.”

So, the next time your child asks for your help, do it lovingly and joyfully.

In conclusion,

  • Our words can either HELP or HURT others.
  • Your children WANT and NEED your attention; make sure you are watching them and realizing their accomplishments and milestones in life.
  • A word of encouragement can go a long way; Build your children up; don’t tear them down.
  • Children are smarter than we think or care to admit. They learn a lot more by what they SEE, rather than what they HEAR. Be an example that they would be proud to follow.
  • Kids will be kids. They will do foolish things which is why God has placed PARENTS in their lives – to teach and train them.
  • The days may seem long at times but the years are short. Cherish the moments with your children. Don’t get frustrated when your children depend on you. You have the opportunity to show them the Greatest love of all, Christ’s love and how we also depend on Him as our Heavenly father.

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***Don’t forget to share this post on Facebook and Pinterest if you found it to be helpful.

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***Featured photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash!

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