10 things you should say to your toddler more often

December 31, 2018
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    The words you use with your toddler, and the comments you make, have more impact on her than you probably realise. So start saying these more often.

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  • “I love you even though we argue at times.”
    2 / 11 “I love you even though we argue at times.”

    Why it is effective Your toddler needs to know that you care for her – she never tires of being told that you love her.

    This reassures her, makes her feel secure and lets her know you love her even though she is challenging and confrontational with you at times.

    Related: 10 signs that you’re too hard on your child

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  • “You are terrific.”
    3 / 11 “You are terrific.”

    Why it is effective There is nothing more likely to boost your child’s self-esteem than being told by you that she is a wonderful person, especially if she has been demanding.

    Remind her of her good qualities, such as her pleasant personality or even her ability to complete form boards.

    Related: Toddler discipline: 8 steps to control kid’s tantrums at parties

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  • “Your big brother loves you.”
    4 / 11 “Your big brother loves you.”

    Why it is effective No matter how much they bicker – and that could be a daily occurrence – she wants to be valued by her older sibling, so it is up to you to express these thoughts and feelings on her brother’s behalf.

    Related: Dealing with toddler tantrums: what you must know

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  • “I can see you tried your best.”
    5 / 11 “I can see you tried your best.”

    Why it is effective Your little one wants to achieve the targets you set for her, and she probably tried very hard to reach her goal. But success doesn’t always come her way.

    Your praise for her effort helps her understand that although she didn’t achieve what you asked her to do, you’re still pleased that she tried her best.

    Related: 5 ways to help your child deal with disappointment 


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  • “Thanks for helping me.”
    6 / 11 “Thanks for helping me.”

    Why it is effective Although your toddler doesn’t thank you for the hundreds of caring acts that you do for her everyday – she takes it all for granted – your comment sets a good example for her to follow.

    By thanking her for her positive behaviour, she is more likely to reciprocate in the future.


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  • “That’s amazing.”
    7 / 11 “That’s amazing.”

    Why it is effective Your praise for, say, painting that picture makes her feel important, especially if you display it on the fridge door.

    Your enthusiasm for her achievement increases its salience for her. And let her hear you tell your friends and relatives all about what she did.

    Related: 8 ways to praise your child without making his sibling jealous

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  • “I’m not going to change my mind.”
    8 / 11 “I’m not going to change my mind.”

    Why it is effective It teaches your young child that when you tell her she can’t do something, you mean it, no matter how much she complains.

    If you give in to her when she has a demanding tantrum, she’ll quickly learn that losing her temper is a good way to satisfy her demands.

    Related: 8 secrets to toddler discipline


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  • “I’m sorry, I got it wrong.”
    9 / 11 “I’m sorry, I got it wrong.”

    Why it is effective It shows her that you are fallible. You make mistakes, just like anyone else. These things happen, and they are not the end of the world.

    Telling her you’re sorry is an honest admission that encourages her honesty when she makes a mistake or does something wrong.

    Related: Dealing with anger towards your toddler


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  • “Please do this for me.”
    10 / 11 “Please do this for me.”

    Why it is effective You want your toddler to be polite, to have good manners and to avoid rude behaviour, and one of the best strategies to develop politeness it by setting a good example yourself.

    If you grunt and moan your way through the day, then don’t be surprised when she is rude to you.


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  • “I enjoy being with you.”
    11 / 11 “I enjoy being with you.”

    Why it is effective Your two-year-old might think you don’t like her. Even though she starts the disagreements with her demands and challenges, she still wants you to like her.

    So, although you might have had a bad morning with her, be sure to end the day with a positive comment.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: Toddler cries at toy shop: should you give in?

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