Here’s a list of empowering words we can use with our kids that will always motivate them.
When we say always, what we mean is not just today but throughout their life.
The truth is that there are words that we can use with our children that can create blocks for them as adults. We covered the nine biggest offenders in our recent article on hurtful words.
However, as life coach Debbie Pace shared with us, there are also a number of words you can use, instead, that can actually empower your child.
How to Use Empowering Words that Will Motivate Your Child
This is a good alternative to the word “can’t.” Instead of saying, “I can’t do that…,” simply change the phrase to, “I’m choosing not to do that.”
For a real world example, instead of “No, we can’t afford that” you could say, “While we can afford it, I’m going to choose to spend our money in a better way.”
The idea behind “choose to” is that you’re taking ownership of the decision by choosing.
Some other alternatives to can’t are, “Prefer not to spend time/money on this” or even the word “sometimes.”
Another great alternative to can’t (and one you can suggest if you ever hear your children say they can’t do something – or if you say it yourself) is “I’m not sure how yet.”
Just because you can’t YET doesn’t mean that you’re incapable. It just means you aren’t sure how YET.
All of these alternatives bring the power back to you.
Seldom or Rarely
This is a good alternative for the word “never.”
So instead of saying to your child, “you never remember to take out the trash,” you can change that to “you seldom remember the trash.”
Or, if this sounds more familiar, Mom and Dad, “you NEVER listen to me,” could be “it seems like we rarely spend time together.”
Could or Want to
This is a great alternative to “have to” or “need to.” These words allow you to take ownership. They also will help prevent that possibility that you’re shutting your kids down automatically, without meaning to.
Intend to or Would Like to
These are also alternatives to “have to” or “need to” and open an opportunity for something to possibly happen.
Conclusion: List of Empowering Action Words that Motivate Kids
Breaking free from using hurtful, limiting words with your friends and your family can be tough. That’s why it’s so important to keep a list on your fridge, both of words you shouldn’t say as well as empowering words that you can use as an alternative.
Some great words that Debbie encourages her clients to use are:
- Choose to
- I’m not sure how yet
- Prefer not to spend time/money on this
- I choose
- I desire
- Want to
- Intend to
- Would Like to
Try to start using these empowering words in conversation with your family. And don’t forget to come back and let us know how it goes, and whether you notice a shift within your kids or even just your own mindset.