Speak a blessing

Children need to feel assured of a parent's unconditional love, as opposed to conditional love which is based on performance or potential. As you affirm your child, be sure to choose statements that refer to factors they have control over, instead of things they have little or no control over.

To clarify, here are a couple of examples of praise that expresses unconditional love:

  • Instead of exclaiming “Robbie! You are such a fast runner!” say instead, “I love how you give 100 per cent effort when you run.”
  • When your daughter looks lovely in an outfit, rather than telling her how cute she is, comment on godly character traits. For example, you could say, “Your joyful smile reminds me that you have ‘Jesus joy’ in your heart.”

Here are some simple ways to compliment your child:

  • God made you special.
  • I love you just the way God made you.
  • God loves you and so do I.
  • There’s nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there’s nothing you can do to make God love you less.
  • God looks at your heart, not at your outside.
  • I’m sure God is happy with the ________ (peace, joy, self-control, patience, compassion etc.) He sees in you.
  • Thank you for being ________ (kind, generous, forgiving, gentle, patient etc.). I know God is happy when He sees His character in you!
  • You are wonderful because you are one of God’s works (Psalm 139:14).

A song or prayer of blessing is a powerful way to speak to your children of your love and assure them of God’s favour and protection at the end of each day. The “Taps-style” camp song Good Night is a lovely song to sing to children at bedtime. Here are the lyrics:

Good Night

Good night, our God is watching o’er you
Good night, His mercies go before you
Good night, and we’ll be praying for you
So good night, may God bless you.

This second verse is not part of the original Good Night song. Kid’s of Integrity author Laurel Kirchner added it to sing to her own children:

Good night, your mom and dad do love you
Good night, we think the world of you
Good night, and we’ll be praying for you
So good night, we do love you!