I am the queen of saying “I love you.” I always have been.
When I was a kid, I was relentless about it. If I had to leave the room to go to the bathroom, everyone received an “I love you” before I went. If I was going upstairs to my room to do homework, an “I love you” would make its rounds before I stepped foot up those stairs. And God forbid someone in my family left the house without telling me “I love you,” I would freak out.
For real. It was a problem. Not for me, of course. I didn’t think it to be strange one bit. However, my loved ones would disagree, and found my constant desire to hear and say “I love you” to be a bit, well, overbearing.
Now, my poor children and husband have to deal with my “I love you” antics, but thankfully for them, I’ve found a new phrase I’m a bit addicted to, and it is something I say to my children daily, even multiple times a day.
What is it?
YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Yes, I tell all three of my children, at least once a day, that they are important. Then, I make them tell me that they are important. The truth is, I probably should tell my husband that he is important more, so that’s something I need to work on. But for my kids, they have been told about their importance since the day they were born, and even in the womb.
Although “I love you” never gets old to me (be it hearing it or saying it), I do understand that for some it is overdone, overused, and has kind of lost its luster. So, try this instead.
YOU ARE IMPORTANT.
Tell your child this. Look them in the eye and tell them. Ask them to tell you that they are important.
Yes, my children kind of mock me at this point, and will finish my “you are…” sentence with a half-giggled, somewhat strained, but proud “IMPORTANT”; but they do believe it, which is excellent and necessary because THEY ARE.
I am very open and upfront about all of my parenting screw-ups. I make mom mistakes daily. I repeat mistakes daily. But, one mistake I am absolutely not making is raising my children to know that they are important to me, to themselves, to the rest of our family, to their friends, to their school, and to the world.
Yes, they are important to the world, and every child deserves to be reminded of this.
Every night before bed, I tell my children this:
You are beautiful. You are kind. You are smart. You are funny. You have a good heart. You are an exceptional child. You are a great sibling. You are a wonderful friend. You are a fabulous student. You are so amazing and so talented in so many ways. You are important.
Use that today or alter it to make it your own. Just simply find a way to ensure your child is aware that this world needs them, and all of their unique abilities and skills. Make sure they believe that their personality and all that they are capable of doing will leave a unique mark on this world, the people in it, and inside the hearts of the ones they encounter.
From me to you, for those of you who haven’t heard it today, hear this:
YOU ARE IMPORTANT. THE WORLD NEEDS YOU. I NEED YOU. MY CHILDREN NEED YOU.
Be sure to tell your children or someone today #youareimportant.