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15 Things We Should Tell Our Kids More Often in 2015

Yearly resolutions are a tricky thing—high expectations, inevitable slipups, unattainable goals. We all know the annual drill by now, no?

Maybe resolutions work for you. Maybe you’ve been able to make major overhauls to your life with the swiftness of a new calendar page. You haven’t yelled at your kids since December 31, 2012, thanks to last year’s resolution. Hats off to you! Mazel!

For the rest of us, lofty broad-stroke resolutions can leave us a little disappointed—defeated, even. So maybe this year we start with something simple, like our vocabulary. A slight shift in the words we say to ourselves in our heads and the words we say to those in our lives can make a profound difference in our everyday lives.

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Here are 15 things that all kids could benefit from hearing this year, not only from our mouths, but also from our tone, presence, actions and mannerisms.

1. “I hear you.”

I hear the story you’re telling, I hear your frustration and anger, and I hear what you’re trying to say.

2. “Take your time.”

(I’ll say after a deep breath.) Too often the words out of my mouth (and on my face, and in my exasperated sighs) are, “We’re going to be late,” “Hurry up” and “We don’t have time.” In 2015, I’ll tell him to take his time as often as I can. Because really, why am I rushing away the time?

3. “It’s OK to make mistakes.”

That’s how you learn. This probably needs to be said through my reactions more than anything.

4. “You make my life better.”

5. “You don’t have to be perfect.”

6. “It’s OK to cry.”

When you need to cry, cry. It’s not a girly thing to do; it’s a human thing to do. And the ones who stuff everything inside and hold back the tears at all costs, turn out way more emotionally dysfunctional because of it.

7. “It’s OK to feel angry or sad or WHATEVER it is you’re feeling."

I can handle your emotions. And those feelings will go away, I promise.

8. “I can help you calm down.”

Even though emotions are temporary, they’re still difficult to let go of, especially the real heavy ones like rage and disappointment. Sometimes kids need guidance in how to calm down.

9. “You matter.”

I'm saying it in every way I can.

10. “I’ve missed you.”

11. “I love you, no matter what you say or think or feel or do.”

But really MEAN it.

12. “I love playing with you.”

13. “Thank you.”

Because kids deserve gratitude, too.

14. “I don’t know.”

Because sometimes we don’t know something, and that’s OK. Adults don’t have all of the answers; the learning never stops.

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15. “You can do it” or ”You’ve got this.”

Another way to say “I believe in you.”

Maybe saying these things more often won’t change your year all that much, but I can almost guarantee that it’ll make your kid’s 2015 that much better.

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