What every kid needs to hear from their father

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What every kid needs to hear from their father

Dad with kids in field - What every kid needs to hear from their father
What every kid needs to hear from their father
Photo by Juliane Liebermann on Unsplash

Every child deserves love. And every child deserves love from their father. How as a father do we show love? One of the best ways to show our love is the words we speak into our children’s lives. They can be words of affirmation, it can be a simple “I love you”, or it can be correction for bad behavior.

I recently asked this question in a “Dads” group on Facebook. 

What is something you feel every child deserves to hear?

Here are some of my favorite responses I got to my question along with my comments.

Childs hands on dads - What every kid needs to hear from their father
What every kid needs to hear from their father
Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

“I love you”

People may think this is the obvious answer as it was the most popular response. And it is. But you would be surprised how many children don’t hear this. And if they do hear it they don’t hear it often enough. Sometimes as parents we are mad or upset with their behavior. But we still love them. So just say it. Say it often. Say it when they don’t expect you to say it. Say it every time they leave home or before you end a phone call. JUST SAY IT!

“You make me happy”

Wow. This is one that I probably don’t say often but I love it. And it’s not because it isn’t true it’s just one of those things that you don’t think to actually say to your kids.  We often express our feelings when they are making us upset but we don’t always give them that positive feedback that they bring joy to your life.

“I’m proud of you”

This was another popular response. I feel I do a good job of praising my kids. But it’s another one that all parents could do more. This is another response you can say to your kids when they least expect it. If they did something good at school they might expect it. But if you noticed they did something good that wasn’t expected, then stop and let them know how proud you are.

“I’m sorry”

Ouch. This one hits hard. I mess up all the time. I get upset at things that happen and it wasn’t their fault. But I don’t always say “I’m sorry” because pride or anger gets in the way. We teach our kids to say they are sorry when they are in the wrong or when they hurt another child. But we have to learn to say these words and let our actions (and words) display the right way to handle it.

“It’s ok to cry”

This is another one that I am not good with. Especially with 3 boys I had a hard time letting them cry about everything. But now that I am older and hopefully wiser I have to let this go. Let them cry and tell them it’s ok to cry. It’s ok to be sad and frustrated and when that happens the emotions flow and we cry.

“You can tell me anything”

Sometimes our kids live in fear that they will be in trouble when things go bad or they do wrong. That line of thinking can lead to them hiding things that can end up hurting them. I can remember my parents telling me they knew they couldn’t keep me from drinking when I wasn’t old enough. But they always asked that I didn’t drink and drive. Not that they condoned drinking but they would rather come pick me up and be safe than get a phone call that I was in an accident or dead. 

“Never give up”

As parents we hate to see our kids struggle. But failure is how we learn. If a kid is never allowed to fail then when he gets older and experiences failure it will be devastating. We must push our kids to try again, and again, and again. If it is something they are passionate about (not something you are passionate about) then don’t let them give up. Just remember don’t push them if it is only something you want. The kid has to be invested also.

“You don’t have to be perfect”

Peer pressure is a real thing. And when your kids meets that other kid that is really good at something it can cause your child to think they must also be perfect. But let them know that not all kids are the same and sometimes we have to just work harder.

“Jesus loves you”

Yes he does. And he died on the cross for you, for me, for my kids, for all mankind. He died so that we may have life and that we can be in God’s presence. Read the bible to them. Take them to church. Let them learn and feel that Jesus loves them.

“I will always have your back”

Sometimes this one is hard. If they are wrong they are wrong. But always have your kid’s back. Back them up when they feel like they have been wronged. Listen from an outside point of view. If they don’t trust you then sometimes they won’t talk to you and tell you things that you need to know.

“Let’s go fishing and stay out until dark”

Yes and yes. Take them fishing. Take them to the park. Stay outside and play until the street lights come on. This takes little to no money. Be involved and play hard with your kids. And let them know that this is why we live. We live to play and to be with each other and to love each other.

Parenting book in lap - What every kid needs to hear from their father
What every kid needs to hear from their father
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

And here is how I would respond to that question in addition to the above:

“It’s ok to be wrong”

This goes along with some of the previous answers. But I think kids need to hear it in this way. Sometimes we just mess up. Sometimes we say the wrong words or do the wrong things. And that is ok. Just say you’re sorry and admit you were wrong. Or take your loss and learn from it.

“Not everyone is going to like you”

This is hard for some kids to accept. But it happens. Not so much when they are younger because most kids get along pretty well. But as they get older kids develop personalities and those personalities don’t always mesh together. Better to understand this early and avoid disappointment.

“Love your neighbor as you want to be loved”

This goes along with Jesus loves you. In fact he gave us this awesome rule to live by that can make our life so much easier. Even when people don’t like you, if you love them it doesn’t matter. Take care of your neighbor and you will be surprised as to how much you get back out of life.

“Life is full of disappointments”

It’s true. No matter how happy your life may be there will always be people and things that will let you down. So don’t fret too much when these things happen. Roll with the punches and look forward to the next thing. Or learn from the disappointment and be more informed next time.

“Be content”

This is one thing that I have done to help my life seem so much better than it actually is. Be content with what you have and with your situation. Now that doesn’t mean you work hard to get out of bad situations. Or it doesn’t mean that you don’t try to improve yourself every day. But don’t look at what your neighbor or friend has and say “I wish I had that”. This just breeds jealousy and makes for an unhappy life. If you are always content with what you have then you are the richest person in the world.

“If you are a better person today then you were yesterday then you are on the right path”

I try to let the kids know to always learn from their mistakes. Don’t keep repeating the same mistakes and improve themselves daily. Be a little nicer to someone then the day before. Exercise a little bit more than the week before. Just keep improving.

Speaking positive words into your kids life is a great way to help build a stronger relationship and to lift them up. Encourage them to always improve. Prepare them for the life they are going into. And always tell them how much you love them. And also these words are not just reserved for fathers. They could be said by a mom, a grandparent, an uncle, or anyone that has influence in the kids life.

Do you have any other phrases that kids need to hear from their father? If so drop them in the comments or let us know on our Facebook page


  1. So many great points! The one that stood out the most to me was “You can tell me anything”. Kids need to know that you will always be there for them and that phrase can go a long way.

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