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150+ Encouraging Words For Kids | Your Go-To List of Encouraging Words and Phrases

Have you ever wondered what to say to encourage a child? Sometimes our encouraging words for kids seem to hit home and make a difference. But other times, they fall flat, aren’t well-received, or worse yet, backfire on us to annoy or frustrate our kids.

So what are some good words of encouragement? If you’ve ever wished for a list of encouraging words and phrases, plus some tips for delivering them for maximum impact, you’ve come to the right place. Here are over 150 positive things to say to your child:

Encouraging Words for Kids Who Need Inspiration

  • I love how creative you are!
  • You are totally capable of this!
  • I’m always curious to hear what you think.
  • Your ideas are so interesting.
  • You’ve made me think about things in a totally different way!
  • You would be a fantastic leader!

Encouraging Words for Kids Who Need Motivation

  • You can totally do this, I know it!
  • Phew, people better watch out when you set your mind to something!
  • The work you do makes a difference.
  • I love how you’re never afraid to put in the work, you show up every day!
  • I’m excited to see what you do.
  • I love how you never give up!
  • Psh, you’re unstoppable!
  • Don’t let your day happen to you, happen to your day.
  • Wow! I’m impressed with how hard you’re trying!
  • No one is amazing when they’re first learning. It’s trying and trying again that teaches you how to do it just right.
  • Oof, you’re sooooo close. You’ve got this!
  • Don’t give up! I know you have this!
  • You can do anything when you make up your mind to do it!
  • This is just the start of your greatness.
  • Your future is bright!
  • I love your enthusiasm!
  • You have incredible focus when you’re working on this!

Encouraging Words for Kids Who Need a Self-Esteem/Confidence Boost

  • I love everything about you. I wouldn’t change a thing.
  • I believe in you.
  • I’m your biggest fan!
  • If I could choose any kid in the world to be mine, I would choose you.
  • Your opinions matter.
  • This world needs exactly who you are.
  • You make a difference.
  • You can change your mind any time.
  • You are so valuable.
  • You are important.
  • I’m so glad you’re here!
  • You have the best smile.
  • Gosh, I love your laugh!
  • I’m so proud of the person you’re becoming.
  • I’m blown away by how amazing you are!
  • You are gorgeous, inside and out!
  • Okay! Let’s try it your way.
  • (after accomplishing a task) You knew you could do it, didn’t you?
  • You did it! Can you believe it?!
  • I trust you.
  • Wow! You did it all by yourself!
  • You are capable of so much! 
  • I love how you created that! How did you think that up?!

    (If confidence is your goal, be sure to check out How to Build Confidence in Kids | 28 Practical Ways to Empower Them Today for loads of fantastic tips!)

    Encouraging Words to Express Your Love For Them

    • I love you!
    • Just thinking about you always makes me smile.
    • I’m always thinking about you when we’re apart.
    • My life is so much better with you in it!
    • When you’re happy and do everything right, I love you. And when you mess up, yell, throw a fit? I love you just as much.
    • I can’t imagine my life without you.
    • I love spending time with you.
    • I always have so much fun with you.
    • I love chatting with you.
    • You’ll never know just how much you mean to me.
    • No matter what you say or do, I will never stop loving you.
    • I’m so thankful I get to be your mom/dad/grandparent.
    • Thinking about you always cheers me up.
    • You’re my favorite part of the day!
    • Just thinking of you makes me strong when I feel like giving up.
    • You are one of my greatest blessings.

    Encouraging Words to Thank Kids

    • Wow, that was a huge help. Thank you.
    • I’m always amazed at how you contribute to our family!
    • You are so thoughtful.
    • You’re such an amazing helper!
    • I appreciate your help so much!
    • Thanks for making this a great day.
    • Thanks for always warming my heart with your kindness.
    • I couldn’t have done this without you!
    • This would have taken so much longer without your help. Thank you!

    Encouraging Words for Kids in Sports/Competitions

    • I’m so impressed with how you’re giving this your best!
    • I love how you always show up, ready to rock and roll.
    • How did you do that (insert specific moment of game)?!
    • I’m proud of you.
    • You can’t win every game, but you can make it count for yourself.
    • Don’t overthink it, you’ve got this!
    • Have fun!
    • Wow, you’re really improving!
    • You must have been practicing.
    • You must feel so proud!
    • You showed up!

    Encouraging Words for Kids Taking a Test/Words of Encouragement For Students

    • It’s not about the grade, it’s about giving it your best effort.
    • Your best is enough!
    • I know you better than anyone and I am positive you can handle this.
    • Just keep moving forward, even if it’s one small step at a time. You’ve got this!
    • With your hard work and effort so far, you’ve already conquered this test.
    • You’re going to feel amazing when you finally turn in this test.
    • Believe in yourself and you can accomplish anything!
    • You are so much more than a grade on a test.
    • I’m so proud of the way you handled that.

    Encouraging Words for Kids Battling Anxiety

    • You can change the channel from anxious thoughts. I can help you!
    • You are so much more than your anxiety.
    • Hang in there! This feeling will pass.
    • It’s totally normal to feel worried or afraid!
    • Everyone worries sometimes.
    • Let’s take some deep breaths together.
    • Tell me about something that made you smile today.
    • (Tell your child about a time you battled anxiety, what you learned, how you overcame it.)

    Encouraging Words for When They Make a Mistake

    • You are not defined by your mistakes.
    • Everyone makes mistakes, it’s unavoidable. It’s how we bounce back that counts.
    • No one is perfect, not me, not you, not your friends, not even your role models.
    • (Tell your child about a time you made a mistake and how you recovered.)
    • You can use your mistakes to your advantage! What have you learned from this?
    • You’re always learning!
    • You’re always growing!
    • Growing is hard work.
    • I’ll never be upset with you for telling me the truth.
    • I think you’ve come up with a great solution to this problem!

    Encouraging Words for Kids Who Are Disappointed/Frustrated

    • Gosh, you’re so strong!
    • I love your determination!
    • You don’t have to do this on your own. You can ask for help!
    • Try taking a break! Let’s come back to this in a bit.
    • You can always try again.
    • What you’re feeling is totally normal.
    • I just know you’re going to figure this out! Would you like some help?
    • You’re making incredible progress!
    • Let’s take this one step at a time.
    • Let’s try thinking about this from a different angle.
    • I love how patient you are!

    Encouraging Words for Kids Who are Having a Bad Day

    • Your emotions are messages. What do you think they’re trying to tell you?
    • No matter what happens, you have the power to choose how you respond. No one can take that from you.
    • You don’t have to fall into a bad day just because someone else has.
    • It’s hard to admit when you’re struggling. I’m so proud of you for confronting your challenges head-on.
    • Let’s figure out together how we can solve this problem.
    • Let’s pause on this day for a few minutes.
    • I bet you feel better after you get some rest.
    • I understand what you’re going through.
    • Thank goodness this is just one day of your whole life, right?
    • Want to talk about it? I’m a great listener.
    • Let’s do something you like to do…to cheer you up!
    • Everyone has a bad day once in a while.
    • Let’s take a walk.
    • Let’s take some deep breaths and blow out those bad feelings.

    Encouraging Words for Kids Facing Difficult Times

    • How are you feeling?
    • I am always here for you.
    • We can get through this together.
    • I’d love to lend an ear any time you need one. You’re so important to me.
    • I’m listening! (then listen without interruption)
    • You can tell me anything!
    • Look how far you’ve come!
    • Believe it or not, you’re going to get through this! I just know it!
    • I will help you through this.
    • I’m always on your side.
    • It takes a strong and brave person to ask for help.

    Encouraging Words for Kids Who are Sick

    • How can I help you?
    • What can I do to help you feel better?
    • We’ll get through this together, you and me.

    Encouraging Words for Kids Having Trouble with Friends

    • You are a great friend.
    • I love how kind you are.
    • You can totally say no!
    • Your words are powerful.
    • You won’t always agree with your friends or like the same things. That’s totally normal!
    • Your friends are not the boss of you; you are the boss of you.
    • You can’t always make everyone happy. They have to decide to be happy for themselves.
    • It’s okay to have a disagreement with your friends!
    • I’m always here if you need help.
    • I love how you show empathy and understanding to others.
    • I’m so proud of how you think of others.

    General Encouraging Words

    • Can you tell me about what you’re doing? (express sincere interest in their interests)
    • You are one of my favorite people in the whole world!

    Tips for Positioning Encouraging Words for Kids

    But collecting encouraging words for kids is only the first part! You must also be mindful of exactly how you deliver those words to maximize their impact. Experts agree that children best receive encouraging words when you:

    • Use their name to make your words feel more personal.
    • Pause to focus on the moment and use eye contact.
    • Get down on their level, both physically and figuratively.
    • Don’t interrupt or speak over them to deliver your praise. If they want to weigh in, make room for conversation!
    • Focus on their efforts over their abilities (over which they may or may not have control).
    • Focus on their efforts over their accomplishments.
    • Be descriptive and specific in your praise, avoiding the more generic “great job” or “well done.”
    • Be honest and sincere. Kids can tell when praise isn’t authentic.
    • Avoid using encouraging words that are conditional, controlling, or manipulative.
    • Avoid comparing them to others.
    • Help them through any negative emotions before delivering your encouraging words so they can actually process what you’re saying. (i.e. If they’re in the middle of a tantrum or hard cry, they’re not going to register or remember your words.)
    • Praise often, but don’t overdo it! Constant bombardment with how amazing they are at everything, everywhere will minimize the impact when they actually do something special.
    • Be spontaneous! I often deliver words of encouragement to my daughter when we’re running errands in the car, sitting together in the backyard, or in other everyday moments.

    The Benefits of Using Encouraging Words for Kids

    You might be looking for encouraging words for kids simply to inspire their efforts at a particular task, but there are actually loads of benefits when it comes to encouraging our kids. Encouraging words:

    • Boost self-esteem and self-confidence.
    • Help kids learn to believe in themselves.
    • Help kids develop determination and perseverance.
    • Motivate kids to try hard and put forth their best efforts.
    • Encourage children to develop imagination and creativity.
    • Promote kids’ cognitive functioning.
    • Create a safe and supportive environment.
    • And my favorite – help kids develop a positive mindset.

    And there you have it! Over 150 ways to encourage and praise a child! Which words will you use today?

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