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The words we speak are far more powerful than most of us realize. Choosing what we say to our children is fundamental to their growth, and certain phrases will help to motivate, uplift, and encourage your child to flourish.

Children have developing minds and emotions. During their earliest stages of physical and mental growth, positivity is of the utmost importance, because it helps them to become motivated and to have better overall well-being. Sometimes, we just assume that our children know that we love and support them. But assuming anything when it comes to children can be your number one downfall when raising a happy and successful child.

So, throw all assumptions out the window, and make sure to use the following 9 phrases with your child as often as possible.

1. I love you.

Daniel Wong, a contributor to the Huffington Post and author of the book “The Happy Student,” explains that while this one may seem obvious, it’s oh so important. “You might feel awkward about saying “I love you,” to your children, especially if it isn’t a part of your family culture. But I encourage you to say it at least once a month. If you say it once a week or once a day, even better.” So many children end up growing up and believing they are unloved. How hard is it to say three simple words to your child?

2. I will be here.

Childhood is scary, and much of raising a child is helping them navigate through new and difficult experiences. Assuring them that you are there for them without falter, and then following through by being present, is so important.

3. It’s okay for you to be upset.

Invalidating your child’s emotions can lead to anxiety, depression, and far worse. While you may want to do whatever it takes to change their emotions from sad/ angry/ or excited, it’s best to show them it is okay to feel their emotions. It’s even better for you to show them how to handle their emotions and let them out in a healthy way.

4. I was wrong, and I am sorry.

Don’t hesitate to admit fault when you have done something wrong. It may be tempting to pretend you didn’t yell at them, or act in a way that was hurtful or disappointed them. However, when you apologize and take responsibility for your actions, you teach your children a far more valuable lesson.

5. I believe in you.

When your child comes to you with a dream, ambition, or plan, don’t step all over their goals. Encourage them to find a way to meet them, and tell them you believe in them. If you believe in them, they will believe in themselves, and it becomes far easier for them to achieve their goals in life when they have a support system.

6. I’m listening.

Children want to be heard, acknowledged, and understood. As their parent, you are the most important audience in their life. If they tell you something important to them- make sure they know you are interested and listening with open ears.

7. Can you show me how you did that?

This one simple phrase not only shows them that you are interested in what they are doing, but it also shows them that you are in awe of what they are capable of. If your little one is trying to show you something they learned in school, or are simply tying their shoes for the first time- show them encouragement by using this phrase.

8. I am so proud of you!

Even the tiniest shred of encouragement goes a long way with children. And it only takes a few moments to tell your child how proud you are of them and their achievements. Don’t hesitate to encourage your little ones, every chance you get.

9. How was your day?

Even if you have spent the entire day with your child, this phrase is quite powerful. Everyone experiences things differently- and simply asking your child how their day allowed them to share their feelings, thoughts, and personal experiences with you. It doesn’t take much time to say “How was your day?” and chances are, by asking this, you are already adding improvement to their day.