150+ Words of Encouragement for Kids

It’s super important to speak words of encouragement to our kids while they’re growing up.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, encouragement is defined as the act of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

As parents, giving these to our children is very important!

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • why words of encouragement for kids are so important
  • the difference between praise and encouragement
  • how to start giving more encouragement to your kids
  • when to give encouragement to your kids
  • how NOT to give words of encouragement

Plus, we’ve got a list of over 150 words of encouragement for kids for you, as well as a free printable Positive Affirmations for Kids so they can internalize the positive messages you want them to receive.

Keep on reading to check it all out!

Why are words of encouragement for kids so important?

Everyone likes to hear positive messages about themselves.

But receiving encouragement is especially important for kids because they are still forming their own opinions about themselves and who they are.

When kids receive the right type of encouragement (more on this soon!), they can grow up to be more self-motivated and self-assured than if they don’t.

The difference between praise and encouragement

Interestingly, there is a big difference between praise and encouragement. According to a 2021 article by The Extension Foundation:

Praise tends to focus on the child and what the parent thinks or feels, which often includes judgment. Children who grow up being praised usually tend to do things to please adults. On the other hand, encouragement is … non-judgmental.

According to research, kids who receive lots of broad, judgmental praise often grow up to struggle with their own self-image and have a tendency to become people-pleasers.

Praise often sounds like: “You’re awesome, Sarah,” or “You are so smart, Jacob.” It is based on the child’s character and is based on the judgment of the speaker.

On the other hand, encouragement often sounds like: “You worked hard on cleaning your room – great job, Aaron,” or “Wow, Megan! You must be really proud of the detail you included in that drawing!”

Here are a few tips to help you give effective, non-judgmental encouragement to your kids:

  1. Focus on the action, not the person.
  2. Keep it specific to a certain situation.
  3. Give encouragement at any time, not just when you see a result – ie: a good grade
  4. Focus on effort, not results
  5. Mention your child’s thoughts and feelings, not your own

How to start giving more encouragement to your kids

A general rule of thumb is to try and give each of your kids five encouragements every day.

One of the easiest ways to start giving more encouragement to your kids is to notice when they are giving their best effort.

Offer positive encouragement that reinforces their desire to try their best, and let them know that you are proud of their efforts.

It may help to observe your kids more closely as they go about their daily routines. Do you see them hustling at soccer practice? Or helping their younger sister put on her backpack? Or not giving up on their math homework?

As you notice your kids doing these small things, be sure to vocalize it and let them know!

Finally, don’t be afraid to set a goal to give your kids a certain number of encouragements every day. If you’re not ready to start at five, that’s okay. Record your results and see how you do!

When to give words of encouragement to your kids

There is really no WRONG time to give your kids some positive encouragement!

But there are times when it’s especially important:

  • before a big school or sports event
  • when you see them doing something kind
  • after a blow to their self-esteem
  • when you see them giving their best effort
  • when they’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed
  • before they begin something new, such as a new school year

How NOT to give words of encouragement

As mentioned before, it’s really important to not give empty or judgmental praise.

A few other things to be aware of:

  • Don’t wait for your kids to “earn” praise – give encouragement when you see effort
  • Be careful not to overpraise – ie: “You’re perfect!”
  • Watch out for giving praise for things that don’t require any effort at all
  • Don’t focus on inherent “talent” – this can be quickly de-motivating

The most important thing about giving words of encouragement to your kids is to keep it specific and based on effort!

Free positive affirmations for kids printable

To download your one-page list of printable positive affirmations for kids, click right here or on the image below! (You’ll get access to over 100 printable resources in the Jen Bradley|MOMs Free Printable library too!)

free printable positive affirmations for kids

Speaking positive affirmations is a great way to help your kids internalize the encouragement you are giving them!

Okay, now that we’ve got that sorted, let’s dive into the list of 150 words of encouragement for kids:

Words of encouragement for kids about who they are

1. You are enough.

2. You matter to me.

3. I love you no matter what.

4. You are unique. 

5. You have a grand purpose.

6. No one else is you – and that is your superpower. 

7. You are here for a reason.

8. You are important.

9. I am here for you!

Related article: 55+ Encouraging Lunch Box Notes for Kids – Free Printables!

10. Take pride in your strengths.

11. It’s okay to struggle.

12. You do not have to be perfect.

13. You are creative.

14. You can be proud of yourself.

15. You are worthy of respect.

16. You have a great personality.

17. You can learn at your own pace.

18. You can work.

19. You are powerful.

20. You are valuable.

21. You are helpful.

22. You can be a problem solver.

23. You have great ideas.

24. I believe in you.

25. You can do amazing things.

26. Your opinion is important.

27. I am grateful for your input.

28. Dream big!

29. I know that you are doing your best.

30. You are worthy of good things.

31. Your life is a miracle.

32. You are awesome just the way you are!

33. Your mind is full of brilliant ideas.

34. You can make a difference in the world.

35. You are allowed to ask for what you want and need.

36. You can practice and improve.

37. There is something in this world that only you can do.

38. There is no one else on earth like you. 

39. Your life is a journey, so keep taking one step at a time.

40. Your smile is a gift to the world – and to me!

Words of encouragement about relationships

41. You have so many good qualities to celebrate.

42. Your life is not a competition.

43. There is no one better to be than yourself.

44. You are loved just because you are you.

45. You are a good friend.

46. Be good to yourself, and let others be good to you too. 

47. You can be courageous and stand up for yourself.

48. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like you.

49. No one else’s opinion defines you.

50. You have people in your life who love you.

51. You are good at helping others.

52. I’m here for you. 

Words of encouragement for kids about choices and learning

53. You can choose your attitude.

54. You can try new things.

55. You can love to learn.

56. You are making a big change, and I’m proud of you. 

57. You can do this.

58. You can keep an open mind.

59. You are brave for trying something new.

60. You have the power to create change.

61. You can choose to be happy.

62. You can always work to improve.

63. You can reach your goals.

64. You are a problem solver.

65. You can think outside the box. 

66. Doing your best is always enough.

67. It’s okay not to know everything.

68. Give yourself space to grow and learn.

69. You are learning every day. 

70. You are surrounded by opportunities to grow.

71. Your mind is ready to grow.

72. You can ask for help when you need it.

73. You can always improve. 

74. Your speed doesn’t matter. Forward is forward. 

75. You can keep practicing.

76. I’m proud of you for trying new things.

77. You get better every time you practice.

Encouraging words about hard work and overcoming challenges

78. You can take the next small step.

79. Keep trying! 

80. You are not alone.

81. I’m proud of you for trying. 

82. You can work through challenges.

83. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

84. You can push past obstacles.

85. You are becoming a better version of yourself.

86. I’m proud of you for working hard.

87. You can do hard things. 

88. You will figure this out. 

89. Mistakes are proof that you’re trying. 

90. Whenever you’re in a storm, I’m here to hold your umbrella. 

Related article: 150 Positive Affirmations for Kids to Start Saying Today

91. Failure is just another way to learn how to do something right.

92. When you fail, you learn.

93. You have a great imagination.

94. This is what you’re going through, not who you are. 

95. You’ve got this! 

96. You can do hard things with hard work.

97. Difficult times don’t last.

98. You can learn from your mistakes.

99. You can try again.

100. You are smarter than your mistakes.

101. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

102. You can persevere through challenges.

103. You are capable of doing great things.

104. Be proud of your progress.

105. You can work through this problem.

106. You can stick to this!

107. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life. 

108. I know that you are doing your best.

109. This tough moment is just one moment.

110. Hang in there!

111. Small progress is still progress. 

112. You haven’t come this far to only come this far.

113. Every experience you have can help you grow.

114. If you stumble, make it part of the dance. 

Encouraging morning messages for kids

115. You can create a wonderful day today.

116. You are creating a wonderful future for yourself.

117. You are in charge of how you live each day.

118. You can make today better than yesterday.

119. You are improving every day.

120. You can be kind to yourself and others today.

121. Good things are coming your way today.

122. Every day can be a good day.

123. Every day can be the best day of the year.

124. You are learning valuable lessons every day.

125. Today is a fresh start.

Words of encouragement for kids about the future

126. Your possibilities are endless.

127. Do not worry about things you can’t control.

128. You can grow your talents.

129. Don’t forget to notice how far you’ve come. 

130. I believe in your dreams.

131. Let tomorrow worry about itself. 

132. Your potential to succeed is infinite. 

133. Your future is full of light and laughter.

134. I’m here to help you be the best person you can be. 

135. You are better than you used to be, and you’ll be even better tomorrow.

136. Nothing is impossible.

137. You are made for victory.

138. Your life is not a race.

139. Believe in the power of yet. 

140. You have unique talents that you can use to help the world.

141. You have the power to change your story.

142. Strive for growth, not perfection.

143. You can be thankful for new experiences.

144. Happiness is everywhere you choose to see it.

Positive messages for kids about their emotions

145. I’m here to help you work through your emotions.

146. It’s okay to be scared.

147. It’s okay to be sad.

148. It’s okay to be happy. 

149. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed.

150. You can choose to focus on good thoughts.

151. You can choose how you respond.

Final thoughts about words of encouragement for kids

We hope this article about giving words of encouragement to your kids has been helpful!

Remember, encouragement means giving support, confidence, and hope to someone else.

No parent is perfect at giving encouragement, but we are here to support you and give you hope and confidence that you can get better at it over time!

Related articles about parenting and teaching kids

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What are some of your favorite words of encouragement for kids?

150+ Words of Encouragement for Kids150+ Words of Encouragement for Kids150+ Words of Encouragement for Kids150+ Words of Encouragement for Kids

Jen Bradley, the founder of Jen Bradley|MOMs

Hi there! I’m Jen and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a mom who believes that meaningful connections with our families can happen in small and simple ways. Read More …


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