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Words Of Encouragement For Kids: 100+ Ideas

Empower and inspire young minds — without overdoing it.

The words of encouragement we use for our kids can help mold them. What we say to them now can impact them right into adulthood. That’s why it’s important to choose the right encouraging words, praise them when it’s deserved, and use language that builds self-esteem.

Researchers compared babies whose parents praised their baby’s effort when attempting a new task to those whose parents praised the child themselves. A parent who is praising the effort might say something like, “Wow, that was a good throw.” A parent praising a child would say something like, “Wow, you’re a fabulous ball thrower.”

The babies whose efforts were praised became children who were more likely to enjoy challenging themselves and trying something new or more difficult (1).

So, to help you choose words and phrases that are most likely to have a positive effect, we’ve designed this list of 100+ words of encouragement for kids.

Key Takeaways

  • Praise children’s efforts — not just their achievements — to help them enjoy challenges and build self-esteem.
  • Use encouraging words during tests, sports, and challenging days to support their hard work and resilience.
  • Offer support and understanding when your child is sick, struggling, or having a bad day.
  • Express gratitude, appreciation, and inspiration to help your child feel valued and loved.

Words of Encouragement for Kids Taking a Test

Words of Encouragement for Kids Taking a Test Icon

How hard you try is what’s important, not the grade you get at the end.

You’ve got this.

I am proud of you.

We are always proud of you, no matter the result.

Don’t panic — you’ve prepared all you can.

Take your time and do your best; that’s all you can do.

I know you’ll try your hardest.

You’ve worked hard to get ready for this test.

Remember, the result of your test is not a reflection of you as a person.

Your test result feels important today. In the future, you won’t remember your grades, but you will remember how hard you worked for them.

We will never be disappointed in you. We know how hard you work.

If you try your hardest, you’ll get an A+ from me, no matter your test score.

This test is important, but your happiness is more important.

Don’t worry about failing the test. You’ll be a winner as long as you try your best.

Words of Encouragement for Kids During Sickness

Words of Encouragement for Kids During Sickness Icon

I know it’s rough being sick, but you will get through this.

You’re strong. This illness will pass, and you will be stronger than ever.

Our love cannot make you better, but it can help you feel better. We give you all our love so you can feel as well as possible.

There is no need to worry. Everyone gets sick. Just listen to the doctor, and they will help your body get well again.

Even when you are sick, you manage to smile. I am so proud of you.

Being sick feels terrible, but it allows us to spend more time together, which is always wonderful.

Resting today will make you stronger tomorrow.

Doctors can seem scary, but they are here to help you get better.

I know you are worried about being sick right now. That’s normal. Just be sure to share your worries with me so I can help you.

Don’t feel you need to be strong right now to protect others. It is our job to take care of you, so you don’t need to put on a brave face.

Words of Encouragement for Kids In Sports

Words of Encouragement for Kids In Sports Icon

You are ready for this.

Your team’s result is not your responsibility alone.

You have worked hard for this moment; go out there and show them what hard work looks like.

Helping your team members is as important as practicing yourself.

Congratulations, all of your training has paid off. Does that hard work feel worth it?

You’ve trained hard for this, and you can be proud of your effort, regardless of the result.

How much I love you can never change. You do not have to win for me to love you more than I could ever tell you.

Your hard work and tenacity make you a winner, not your place on the podium.

You are an example to your friends and siblings. They all admire how you never give up.

The effort you put in is more important than winning.

What you just did made me so proud.

I admire your determination.

I could never have done what you just did. Your spirit is so inspiring.

Words of Encouragement to Thank Your Child

Words of Encouragement to Thank Your Child Icon

It makes me smile when I see you being so kind.

Thank you for being you.

I am grateful that you are my child.

Thank you for sharing those thoughts with me.

It was very brave to do that, thank you.

Thank you for being so respectful. It means a lot to me.

I appreciate what a kind and thoughtful child you are.

Thank you for being a good brother/sister.

We are all thankful for your generosity.

Your teacher says you worked very hard. Thank you for making such an effort.

Thank you for always helping others.

Words of Encouragement to Inspire Your Child

Words of Encouragement to Inspire Your Child Icon

Keep coming up with those creative ideas.

Look how much your hard work has paid off. You’ve done a fabulous job.

Never be afraid to try something new.

Your reading is really improving. That’s because you didn’t give up when there were words you did not know.

The stories you tell are so imaginative. I love where your imagination wanders.

Nobody is great at a new activity when they first begin. But by working hard, you can get even better.

Don’t give up when things get tough.

Be yourself and let the real you shine.

Being the same as everyone else is not important. Being a good person is.

You can make a difference.

Your artwork brightens up my day.

Words of Encouragement When Your Kid Has a Bad Day

Words of Encouragement When Your Kid Has a Bad Day Icon

Yes, today was a bad day. Let’s make tomorrow better.

Your day might have been bad, but that is not a reflection of you.

Know that whenever you have a bad day, I will still be here to love you.

We are here to help you.

You are not alone in this.

We all have bad days sometimes. Tell me about yours.

I am so proud of how you handled such a difficult day.

You are strong enough to get through this.

You are not responsible for everything that happens.

The things that went wrong today were not your fault.

You cannot make everyone happy. Don’t feel bad about that.

You’re home now. Would you like a hug?

What was bad about your day? If we can figure that out, we can figure out how to avoid the same thing happening again.

Words of Encouragement When Your Child is Struggling

Words of Encouragement When Your Child is Struggling Icon

This may seem difficult right now, but once you’ve worked through it, you’ll feel much better.

Stick with it; you’ll be glad you did.

I am proud of you for trying so hard.

Keep up the good work.

This will be worth it.

There’s nothing wrong with making mistakes.

Mistakes help us learn.

Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point. It doesn’t make you weak or a failure.

You can always come to me if you are struggling.

If you are struggling and it is making you unhappy, there is no shame in taking a break or giving up.

No matter what happens, I love you.

General Words of Encouragement for Kids

General Words of Encouragement for Kids Icon

It’s OK to give up sometimes.

Life is not easy, but you are a loving person who is loved in return. That is the most important thing.

Being with you brightens my day.

You are a fabulous friend. _______ is lucky to have you there for them.

If I had to draw a picture of someone kind, I would draw a picture of you.

Do you know why animals like you so much? It’s because they can feel how kind you are.

There is nobody else in the world quite like you. I wish there were more of you.

You always know the right thing to do, and more importantly, you always do it.

Anyone can be the same as everyone else. It is courageous to be yourself.

Never feel embarrassed to stand out. Standing out is what makes you special.

Sometimes, it’s better to sit back and think than to jump in and act.

You cannot control other people, but you can control how they make you feel.

It is not your job to fix everyone’s problems. Sometimes, all you can do is be a good friend, and you are excellent at that.

When you feel lonely or scared, close your eyes and remember I am always there for you. You carry me in your heart, so you never have to be alone.

Nothing you can do could ever stop me from loving you.

You cannot change the past, but you do have some control over the future.

How other people treat you says more about them than it does about you.

Whoever you love is very lucky to have you feel that way about them.

I am grateful to have you as my child.

The Benefits of Encouragement

The Benefits of Encouragement Icon

When we use words of encouragement for kids, we are doing so much more than saying something nice.

Instead, we are giving our children many gifts:

  • Teaching them to believe in themselves.
  • Helping them develop their character.
  • Laying the groundwork for a lifetime of more positive relationships.
  • Motivating them.
  • Teaching them that what you say can make a difference to other people.

However, it is not as simple as just saying, “You are fabulous,” or throwing out other random compliments.

For your children to reap the benefits of words of encouragement, you need to use the right words in the right way, at the right time.

So, how do you do that?

How to Encourage Kids with Words

How to Encourage Kids with Words Icon

When you encourage your kids with words, it is important to focus on the efforts your child is making and not on their level of talent or achievement.

Efforts Not Achievements

When you focus on talent or achievement, your child’s self-worth becomes attached to those talents or achievements. Then, when they experience a failure or a setback, they will see it as a personal failure.

Instead, by focusing on your child’s efforts, you will teach them that they have control and help them build resilience and determination.

Hold Back

Too much praise and encouragement can backfire and have the opposite effect of what was intended.

Constantly telling your child they are clever, talented, or beautiful can cause them to have an over-inflated sense of self-worth. This causes them to tie their value as a person to how fantastic you say they are.

As soon as they do something unsuccessful, they may feel they are a failure, which can be psychologically devastating (2).

They might also stop making an effort because they believe they don’t have to. They may see themselves as already perfect because of the wrong inspirational words.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Choose Your Words Carefully Icon

By using the correct words of encouragement, you can help build your child’s self-esteem and self-worth in a healthy way.

This can lay the foundations for a lifetime of determination and resilience.

That comment you make today — telling your child the important thing is that they always try — might be the thing that gets them through an important job interview or a critical negotiation at work in the future.

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About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.