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2 Phrases Your Child Needs To Hear Repeatedly

As parents, we understand the incredible influence our words carry. They not only shape moments in time, but they also form the very essence of our children’s lives. We also recognize the power of language in building a stronger, more loving relationship with our little ones.

I believe most parents already know that their kids need to hear these sentiments over and over again from them: “I love you”, “I believe in you”, “I’m proud of you”, and “I’m here for you”. But there are two other phrases that might be a little tougher to say and are just as significant for them to hear repeatedly:

1) “I’m Listening”
Listening to our kids goes beyond simply hearing what they say, it’s understanding their emotions and experiences. When we say “I’m listening” we’re letting them know that we value their words and thoughts.

Telling our children “I’m listening” is like opening a door to a safe space that they can enter and share everything from their best experiences to their greatest joys to their deepest fears, knowing that we’re there to love and support them.

By practicing this behavior and repeating these words, we establish a foundation of trust and honesty in our bond with our kids, promoting a connection that deepens with each discussion. It’s in these moments of connection that we not only gain insight into their world, but also model to them the significance of empathy and effective communication.

2) “I’m Sorry”
Admitting fault can be tough. We all want to project strength to our kids and think that by admitting that we blew it makes us look weak. But sometimes the strongest thing we can do is say “I’m sorry.” It shows our children that everyone makes mistakes, even grownups.

A sincere apology shows our kids that we care about their feelings and that we want to make things right with them. This helps build trust and strengthens our relationship with them. It brings an incredible sense of safety to the relationship, too.

Think about it. A genuine “I’m sorry” followed by a hug is like a big, warm reset button. It lets them know our love is there, no matter what. It shows them that even when things get messy, we can work through it together.

Saying “I’m sorry” isn’t just about the apology itself. It’s about showing them how to take responsibility and repair a situation. It shows them that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s how we handle them that matters.

Your child needs to hear these two phrases repeatedly. “I’m listening” welcomes them in, and “I’m sorry” builds a bridge. It’s in these everyday moments, big and small, that we raise little humans who know they’re loved, mistakes and all. And maybe they’ll teach us a thing or two about listening and forgiveness along the way.

For a deeper dive, listen to our podcast episode, “2 Phrases Your Child Needs To Hear Over & Over Again”


  • Chris Reed | Pastor to Parents | Saddleback Church

    Chris married his beautiful bride, Tina, in 1990. They have three wonderful adult children, Jacob, Kaylee, and Macie Joy. Chris began pastoring at a church in Los Angeles in 1995 where he was the Children’s and Student Pastor. He was the Executive Pastor of Student Ministries at John Maxwell's church in South Florida before he came to Saddleback in 2008 as our Pastor to 20s/30s. He has since served as Pastor to Singles and Pastor to Marriages. He is currently our Pastor to Parents leading the charge for all things Parents Ministry at Saddleback. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies and his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

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