Words That Build Worth
August 2000

“Words That Build Worth,” Ensign, Aug. 2000, 69

Words That Build Worth

Children’s perceptions of themselves are formed largely by how their parents treat them. Some parents, though loving and concerned, inadvertently send unloving and critical messages that may lead their children to have feelings of low self-worth. At right are some typical expressions parents sometimes use and how they could be better phrased to build a child’s confidence.—Larry W. Tippetts, Granite View Ward, Sandy Utah Granite View Stake

Phrases to Avoid

1. “Here, let me do it for you.”

2. “Quit picking on your brother.”

3. “I don’t know if I can trust you after what you did.”

4. “Stop doing that!”

5. “You are too small. Wait until you are bigger.”

6. “How could you do such a thing?”

7. “Oh, you poor thing! You’re hurt.”

8. “Why can’t you be like your brother?”

9. “If you had tried harder you could have done better.”

Phrases to Use

1. “I’ll bet you can do it by yourself.”

2. “I’m sure you and your brother can work this out.”

3. “We’re depending on you.”

4. “Try this instead.”

5. “You do a good job in that.”

6. “What can we learn from this?”

7. “You’re taking this bravely.”

8. “You do very well in these areas.”

9. “I appreciate the effort you’ve put in.”

Illustrated by Beth M. Whittaker