Every day there's a parent who has told a lie to their kids, whether they realize it or they don't. While you may tell your child not to lie, the fact that you're continually adding to the list of lies you've already said to them, whether small or big, also teaches the child how to lie. They'll also think its an okay thing to die because mom and dad do it. Parents sometimes lie to protect their kids out of love for them, or they just don't want them to get hurt, but over time, lying doesn't do any good to the children. It backfires on parents and turns the little ones into little liars, which if nurtured can grow into something worse when they're adults. This is definitely not what we want our kids to be, nor generations to come, so why not just stop it right now if you're actually doing it. By the way, some or most of the lies we tell our kids, are the same ones we were told by our own parents, but, as you'll discover from this list of 20 lies parents tell their kids (which they shouldn't), a lot of them are mere myths that have been debunked, even by science. Remember when the folks said you couldn't swallow watermelon seeds because they'd grow little trees in your tummy? Or when they said the music from the ice cream truck meant they've run out of ice cream? Well, they lied - sorry to burst that bubble - but somehow it worked, and yet here we are - lol! Check out the lies parents tell their kids, and five important truths they should actually share with them instead.
25 If you put your tooth under your pillow, the Tooth Fairy will bring you money
This is the number one lie used especially when a child loses a tooth, and suddenly there's this little gap between the other teeth that just doesn't seem right. If the child is affected by it and many times they are, or they want to have it put back in, the easiest way to calm him down is to bring up the one about the Tooth Fairy. How this magical creature came into being is so interesting. According to Haldja Hambaravi, this fairy collects lost baby teeth from children as they sleep at night, and gives them gifts or money in return. Its no wonder parents say "The Tooth Fairy will leave a dollar or a gold coin under your pillow" as they tuck their kids in. Somehow the legend of the fairy found its way into our homes in connection with modern living culture because in the old days, lost teeth were thrown into a furnace, but since there are no such things in new houses, it became impossible to do. Whatever the case may be, the fairy doesn't actually show up to pick up our lost teeth and make us a dollar richer, but at least parents get a chance to teach important lessons like oral hygiene and different stages of growth. It is important to be honest with children, but the Tooth Fairy helps lessen the fear of losing teeth. Similarly, when they go to the dentist, they don't see him as an enemy, but as the Tooth Fairy's helper - this helps keep them calm and soothes anxiety.
24 Santa will bring you presents on Christmas Eve
Remember those Christmas Eve nights, when you and your sibs would gather by the Christmas tree laden with neatly wrapped gift boxes spread around it? The nights you heard mom and dad say the all important line, "Kids, Santa will bring you presents on Christmas Eve," and your gut told you its a hoax, but then this is mom and dad, they can't lie - at least not about something this important, right? Fast forward to years later, and you realized that Santa was just a myth, even worse, is you discovered he was one of those things that couldn't miss on a Christmas ad. Either way, the lie somehow worked, kept hope alive, and we almost always got the 'gifts' we expected from Santa. Parents have used this lie for years on end, especially when they're unable to get the exact same gift their children want for Christmas, so the other lie would be to tell them, "Sorry honey, Santa may not have brought you a gift, but I got you one. Let's open the presents!" When they're older, kids realise that the folks were just trying to be helpful and make Christmas exciting, while ensuring they were always at their best behavior. Gift giving has actually been an important part of Christmas since the early 19th century, says History.com. In fact, stores began advertising Christmas shopping as early as 1820, and by the 1840s, newspapers had separate sections for Christmas ads which had Santa Claus as the featured image.
23 If you keep making that face it will stay that way forever
This lie brings back so many memories for most children, like when you didn't like something say the dress mommy picked out a dress for you yet you wanted to wear your favorite pair of jeans. Or when you didn't want to stop playing with your friends but it was already time to head back home. If there was a type of food you disliked and that was on your dinner plate, this obnoxious face would almost always come up, and mom or dad's response would either be something to persuade you to try, or simply "If you keep making that face, it will stay that way forever." I bet you're already getting nostalgic about this one, because it is a given for any parent, what science may not explain is how this lie came to be, and how it has spread across the world - its everywhere, maybe just in different languages - but its there. This classic fib, according to Babygaga, has been told for generations and it is used to put a check on the child's behavior whether that is before their own parents, sibs, or even around strangers. Children find it terrifying to think that their faces could permanently freeze in place, so they'll succumb to the lie and change their ways eventually.
22 I was never a bad kid
Don't get me started! Unless we are born angels, then there's nothing like a good or bad kid - just good and bad behaviors, here's why. When a baby is born, the parents have a clean slate on which to apply their parenting 'script' that will shape the child's future for good. As they say, the formative years are the best times to train up a child in the way he should go, after which you can only give instructions and stay friends (if you were friends in the first place). This lie is usually used together with its twin that says, "I was always top of my class," and makes the child think they must live up to the parents' high expectations because the bar has been set, and it is way up there. What this does to a child, and this can go either way, is either they'll strive to be too good, or they'll be rebels. This is where brown nosing and rebellion against authority takes its roots. As Buzzfeed rightfully puts it, we let our kids think we were perfect back in the day, when in reality, we were just as frustrating - this is unfair regardless of what the parents hope to score with it.
21 Babies come from the stork
"Mom, where do babies come from?" This is one of the hardest questions to answer when your kid asks about it, but for some strange reason, parents almost always have an answer to it. The most common ones range from the supermarket, to the stork delivered it to our doorstep (and many animation flicks have used this one over and over), but there's a reason for this lie. While kids genuinely want to know where kids come from, not that they want one or they'll bother to actually get one. This is just one of those curiosity questions they ask, the same way they ask why they have two eyes yet they see only one thing, or when looking at their baby sib and ask "do they know they're alive yet?" Similarly, parents are also genuine when they are lying about where kids come from because they feel its just not the right time to share the truth, or the child just won't understand. Some of the most hilarious answers parents shared on Buzzfeed include 'Jamaica' or 'Amazon Prime', but that only holds up until they discover the truth. There are ways of explaining this to kids without having to lie about it, but at the level of their understanding, without getting into the gory details.
20 The car won’t start unless everyone wears their seat belt
As benign as this lie seems, it is actually one that must be avoided by parents at all times. Hal Runkel, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and the author of ScreamFree Parenting told Parents.com that this is "really a way of avoiding your responsibility as a parent. You want your kid to know that it's your job to make the smart decisions that keep her safe," he explained. So it isn't up to your children to figure out that they have to put on safety belts so that the car can start, but it is really the parents' job to inculcate this in their kids so that they understand why they need to have their belts on in the car. Runkel advises that instead of lying, parents should say "I'm not starting the car until your seat belt has been fastened," which communicates to the child that their parents are in charge of ensuring safety rules are followed. Its also advisable to explain the road and traffic laws on passenger seat belts to prevent injuries or any fatalities. According to Pikmykid, children, especially the younger ones need much guidance on car safety, because one little change in safety measures can mean life or death, so don't take it lightly. Starting with such car safety basics will set them up for success when its their turn to drive.
19 All mothers have eyes in the back of their heads
Have you ever heard your mom or grandma talk about having 'eyes in the back of their heads?' Well, this is one of the biggest lies that has been passed down from generation to generation since antiquity. The fact of the matter is, no one, whether mom or dad, or any human being for that matter has such eyes - there are only two and they're located at the face. Sure we know what that means now that we're older, but when you tell that to a kid, they may just believe you, especially if what you're saying about them is surprisingly true. You'll find a child asking stuff like "if you do have such eyes, why can't I see them, and if you don't, how come you know a lot of things?" These kind of eyes have a more technical name, and that is intuition. Moms, as Everydayfamily says, are so in tune with whatever is happening around them, whether they can see it or not, and sometimes they leave us wondering how and why they're so aware. They can tell a lot of stuff like when kids are about to fight, or they're lying, but especially when the child is going through a tough time and they're hiding it - yea, mommy knows that too. Its that little voice that says something is off or wrong, the inkling that someone is not listening or they're missing something - a gut feeling that something about your child is off - but its just as powerful as having eyes in the back of the head.
18 Junk food at bedtime will give you nightmares
While there's some truth in this statement, most parents will rarely use it based on its merits but to keep the child from consuming junk at night, especially with the fear of dealing with the proverbial 'sugar rush' and hyperactivity associated with processed foods. According to EatThis, there's a chance that a scary nightmare can be caused by that late night indulgence, either a pizza, ice cream, soda or candy - whatever it is as long as it is junk food. In fact, they go even further and say that there are scholarly reports on the correlation between diets and bad dreams, so you're not too far from the truth with this one, just that your motives are different. Apparently, stuff like pizza, soda, cookies, fries and chicken nuggets, some Greek yogurt varieties, can give you nightmares. At least now you have something to back up that claim in case your son or daughter asks for proof. They say you are what you eat, so this too can be taught and implemented with your kids, but you'll have to make it happen by ensuring junk food is not always an alternative. There are healthier options for night snacking that will boost better sleep and development of your kids.
17 I forgot my wallet today
Can you imagine what kind of people we'll be dealing with in the next ten or so years to come if we don't deal with this 'instant' generation? As much as it is a challenge, there's no denying that children today want instant gratification whether they saw something on television or among their friends at school, they will do anything to have it. But this is where the parents come in and stamp their authority gently, but still with a firm touch. Kids live for this, which is why in shopping stores, parents usually have a difficult time trying to convince the child that there's no money, hence the lie "I forgot my wallet". While the child may not necessarily understand how money works, or the buying and selling process, as well as waiting to get that thing that they want, parents can find cleverer ways of explaining to them why they just cannot have it at that particular time. Sometimes what they want isn't good for them, or, and in most cases, its expensive for nothing - like toys - they'll desire it for one minute, and move on to the next trendier thing leaving you angry for buying it in the first place. According to Fernweis, giving kids any and everything they want when they want it, affects their ability to mature, and that which they want also loses value. Delay is painful, but it does help the child develop better resilience, tolerance, and reduces the likelihood of risky behaviors from poor judgment or dangerous choices they may make.
16 You don’t wash behind your ears, potatoes will grow there
Do you recall when mom would routinely inspect behind your ears and neck, looking to find just enough dirt to grow potatoes in? Well, by now you know she didn't actually mean real potatoes. This lie is among the common ones parents use to get their kids to learn how to clean their bodies as they bathe, not just playing in the water. While it may have a positive effect on the child, sometimes it could make them draw further and further away from bathing, or the importance of it. while children aren't necessarily as stoked about bathing as they seem, they can actually spend many hours just playing in the water with yellow rubber duckies, and other stuff they carry along to the bath. Explaining to the children the importance of bathing is much better than using lies you cannot even justify with scientific proof. Granted, if you don't clean behind your ears, dirt will accumulate what with the dust and sweat from a long day, and as that happens, it can create good ground for bacteria to thrive. However, this same lie could be used on other body parts, just to get the kid to stay clean and maintain hygienic standards.
15 Your (dead) fish went back to the store to be with his friends
Okay this one is a bit over the top. If I was a kid, I'd ask more questions about this lie, not to find out if its actually true, but if it is logically possible. I mean, how can a fish leave its bowl, the very and possibly only place it knows to get fed and stay alive, and go all the way to the store...to be with his friends? Kids can't be that naive, right? There must be that gut feeling in them that tells them there's something totally off about this, but the dilemma is 'why does mom actually seem to be saying the truth'? Its confusing actually, but either way, parents don't have to go to such lengths. According to The Atlantic, bending the truth in such a manner may not be malicious, obviously, but is meant to save our kids' feelings. However, as much as we may not be sure how to handle such difficult moments, or we try to avoid the issue altogether, making up stories such as these or lying just to shield children from the pain of losing a pet doesn't work because it distorts reality, and this can be potentially damaging to the children.
14 If you keep picking your nose, your finger will get stuck
Did you know that nose picking has a medical term? Its called rhinotillexomania - good luck trying to pronounce that. There are countless stories that kids (now grown adults) who used to pick their noses have especially the part about their parents confronting them over the habit. Some of them include "if you pick your nose too much, you could pick your brain out of your head," or "If you pick your nose and eat it, you're eating little bits of your brain." Someone also said that his grandpa caught him in the act, and told him that the boogers up his nose were flies that crawled up there in the night and died - but that didn't stop him picking his nose though! Another one was told that if she kept at it, her nostrils would stretch and become huge. She stopped instantly! This habit is not only disgusting, but also hygienic and has potential to be harmful. BBC says most of us nose pick but very few will admit to it, but when caught red-handed, shame and regret check in. As much as we frown on those who do it in public, it isn't a nice thing to do in other people's presence, neither is it good to do especially with dirty hands. Parents just need to share this truth with their children, and avoid the lies and likelihood of the habit resurfacing in their adult lives.
13 You've got 5 minutes or I’m leaving without you
This lie is dangerous. The first thing a child hears when you say 'I'm leaving without you' is that you're going to abandon them, and it is the last thing you want to do to your kids. If you say this and notice that they start to tear and run after you, its no longer a lie that'll threaten them into doing what you want them to do quickly, but a painful memory you're about to create in him or her. According to TheAtlantic, one of the ways to mess up your kids is by telling them you're leaving without them. Sometimes kids can be very stubborn, like when its time to leave the park and go home, and they won't budge, causing you to be angry and frustrated, it is tempting to use this lie just so they can get in the car. However, as Dr. Alan Sroufe, a professor emeritus of Psychology at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development said on The Atlantic, threatening your child in this way, whether it is a light joke or not, can shake the foundation of security and wellbeing that you represent in their lives. It makes them start thinking you may not be there to protect and care for them, because the thought of being abandoned, especially in a lone and strange place is scary and can start destroying the attachment they already have to you as their secure base from which they experience the world. Next time you want to let out those words (or threats), change it by explaining the situation to your child instead, or use other distractions if they're little kids.
12 Moms and dad were just wrestling
Yea right! There's two ways to look at this lie, the good one where mom and dad were expressing their affection for one another and then the children happened to show up, and the bad one that leaves one or both parents badly hurt, and the kids watched it all happen. The worst to lie about is the latter, because when kids see this happening, it affects them, their trust and attachment, and instead breeds fear. This fear could be that of similar punishment, or fear of abandonment by their parents. No well meaning parent would want his or her kids to have to endure such a moment - it is not only painful for the couple, but the children as well. It actually leaves a mark imprinted on their minds that this isn't good, and it could happen again, and they're helpless. Children who understand wrestling in the real sense of the game, will know there's a winner or loser and someone will get hurt in the process, unless of course their parents showed them a milder way of wrestling that they associate with happy thoughts. So before you go lying that both of you were wrestling, think of a better way that won't affect the kids.
11 We’re almost there, another 5 minutes
When you know you have a long trip say three or four hours, or even more, chances are you may not be able to clearly explain to your kids just how far they have to go, especially if they don't quite understand the concept of time and distance. But, as parents, there's this tendency to tell the kids the white lie 'we're almost there' even when we're not halfway to our destination. This is one battle that folks will lose. The first hour or so may be blissful what with the iPads and smartphones fully charged and the snacks are within easy reach for the kids, so they're pretty much occupied for some stretch of the journey. Wait until the gadgets run out of charge, and they're getting restless, or they just want to get out of the car for a breather because their attention span isn't as long as our own - you can only contain them for so long with snacks and phones before they want space to run and be free. Dr. Sroufe says such a lie distorts the child's feelings because parents tell children something that isn't the actual, so it creates a discrepancy between the child's experience and what the parent is saying, which creates distress. What parents are advised to do though is have an age-appropriate explanation ready for any question the kids will ask during the journey, not lies.
10 If you go out with wet hair, you’ll get sick
This lie ties in well with the one about not eating the bread crusts will make your hair not curl as it should - and none of those lies will last long in your house. While wet hair may make you feel a little bit chilly on a cold day if you skip the blow-dry, not much else will happen after that. Sure, the kids don't know the actual truth just yet, and they need to be protected from anything that can affect their health but this isn't one of them. If you're trying to prevent children from catching colds by telling them that they can't go outside with wet hair, its only a matter of time before they discover colds are caused by viruses, and they'll keep going out with their hair wet just to prove a point. Health.com says unless you're so cold to the point of getting hypothermia, which actually exposes you to infections, wet hair won't increase that vulnerability. Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the Mayo Clinic, told HuffPo that "In order to get an infection you need to be exposed to an infectious agent. There are several things that circulate during periods of cold weather — influenza, different cold viruses. That’s what you need to get infected. Going out with wet hair is not going to cause an infection. I think it more so just makes people uncomfortable.” However, Dr. Tosh cautions against traipsing around in below freezing temperatures with a wet head.
9 If you lie you won’t get to play outside (ironic we lie about lying)
The word 'if' already means there's a condition that follows, especially when used to make our kids obey and do as we say. The old mantra, 'Do as I say, not as I do' shows why such a lie will not work. Over time, one lie has to be used to cover for another because like the internet, kids also hardly forget what their parents tell them and they're quick to remind you when you contradict yourself. This particular one is a lie on top of another lie, which parents use to sort of threaten their kids to conform to their rules. Children absorb much of what is happening around them, and they have a sponge-like capacity not just to learn, but to mirror good and bad behavior. They too can pick up on things, even if they don't directly let you know what they think about it. As Dr. David Elkind, a child development expert and professor emeritus of child development at Tufts University told TheDoctor, modeling the behavior we want is one of the best things parents can do because they learn more from our actions than our words. In this case, the best thing to do is explain to the child why lying is a bad thing and the consequences of the same, instead of giving conditions and tying them to an activity they like such as playing.
8 You can’t eat that because it’s bad for kids
Haven't we all been through this before, when you went out with the folks and you were so excited to finally eat at your favorite restaurant, but when it came to picking what you wanted from the menu, you got the usual "you can't eat that because it's bad for kids" line. This is among many of the white lies parents tell their kids to get them to either pick and eat healthier food, or, to avoid paying for something they don't approve of. When it comes to food include, what parents don't realize when they talk to their kids is that the little ones actually decode their statements. Something like 'its bad for you' can be loosely translated by the child to mean 'everything is bad for me, and I like bad things, so bad is actually good', and these thoughts actually shape the child's view on certain foods. Other things parents say include 'eat this, its good for you' which can be decoded by the child to mean it is bad for them. According to Maryanne Jacobsen, an indie author, dietitian, and mom who is on a mission to help families make healthy habits come to life, taste rules children's food preferences and they benefit from getting more information on a new item, studies have shown. So instead of lying about something like cake being bad for them, a better thing to say is 'Cake is not a food we eat all the time, but we can have some this weekend over at Jay's birthday party'. What that does is it teaches kids how different foods fit into a balanced diet based on how frequent we eat them.
7 If you swallow gum it sticks to your tummy and never comes out
This is one of the biggest myths that has been used on kids to keep them from swallowing chewing gum or even putting it in their mouths in the first place. WebMD says that the age old "swallowed gum will stay in your stomach for 7 years" myth isn't actually true, at least not scientifically. While it may seem that the sticky aspect about gum can make it stick around your gut for years, because it doesn't dissolve in your mouth like other foods we eat do, there's no truth to this claim. In fact, gum doesn't actually stick in the insides, because the digestive system moves it along just as it does every other weird thing children have swallowed, and in a few days, it comes out in through the stool. Almost everyone who has ever chewed gum has swallowed a piece of it, but rarely have children ever needed a doctor for this, even though the stomach cannot break down gum like it does other foods, but it will be moved along through the normal intestinal activity. However, if gum is swallowed in large masses or many small pieces over a short period of time, it can actually block the digestive tract - but this is still in rare cases. Blockage happens when gum is swallowed with other weird or foreign objects like coins or sunflower seeds, which cannot be digested. The best thing to do instead of lying is not allow them to chew gum until they fully understand the importance of not swallowing it. Just don't offer it to them until they're much older or when you say its OK.
6 We can’t watch that movie anymore because it’s broken
Kids love repetition, in fact, they actually learn more when things are repeated to them because it sticks, I mean, isn't that how we learned the alphabet and counting? Well, the same happens with a movie or cartoon they watch, not necessarily because they learned something from the repeated playing of the same flick, but there's just something about it that they were drawn to. Once something becomes familiar to them, they favor it above the rest because, as Babygaga says, the knowledge and experiences are new at this stage of their growth and development. Like adults, and anyone else too, once we recognize something in an environment that isn't familiar to us, our interest for that thing peaks. Unfortunately, for parents, they're not as excited about repeating the same movie or cartoon, or even the same song because they've done it once, and that's probably, plus their cognitive levels are obviously higher than that of their kids. When a kid favors a video and sticks with it, don't lie that it is broken, you can actually try something new like a new video with the same characters or a new game they can do to keep them engaged and still learning new stuff.
5 I/We love you more than anyone
Love is a wonderful and beautiful thing, people sing about it, do movies about it, and get married because of it. The fruit of the love parents share is actually manifested in children, but these same kids want and crave love from their parents. Love actually changes people without convincing them, owing to its powerful influence, but it is so easy to say and show love to our kids in happy moments of joy and celebration, than it is when we're down or angry or just disappointed. However, Becoming Minimalist reminds us that it is just as important to tell our kids that we love them despite the current or ongoing situation in the home, or whether they did something to annoy, disappoint or anger us. During such moments, parents aren't in the mood to say loving words, but this is when the children need the most reassurance from mom and dad - they need to know that the behavior isn't accepted, but they are, and they are loved. Knowing this makes them free to make mistakes knowing they'll be forgiven but still learn from the consequences, and just to be clear, this doesn't give them leeway to do what they want. Love in form of protection casts out fear, which helps kids be able to handle unsure moments in their lives going forward.
4 You are unique
We are all made and wired differently. We have different talents, skills, abilities, and even looks - the same goes for twins, triplets, and any other set of kids. Each child has their own unique personality, temperaments, strengths, character and abilities that let him or her express who they are in the world. This is what makes each kid special. Parents need to pick out the differences and/or any similarities in their children as they see them grow and develop to be responsible people, but this, as Focus on The Family says, should happen at the early stages when they're young. From the onset, you can tell a kid who loves to read from the one who wants to be outside, or the one who loves to draw from the other one who prefers to sing her heart out. Remember when you discovered your child loved to play with the ball, ride bikes or build stuff out of almost nothing? Or the one who had a strange way of looking at things, you almost got their IQ tested to see if he's a genius? Well, these and other things are indicators to your child's future interests, so you never really know who you're raising. It could be a mountain climber, a musician, lawyer, writer, computer geek, or a President! What you need to do, however, is point out their abilities to them and tell them they're unique and that what they have is a powerful accomplishment. This helps them believe in themselves and their abilities, and inspires them to be unique, whether it is in school sporting activities or cooking at home, just affirm their unique talents.
3 Trust your gut
What do we do when in doubt? Besides checking Google for answers, or calling a friend, there's the saying that we should always trust our gut. Most people do this when they're planning to buy something, or getting into a business deal, where everything looks too good to be true, but that still small voice, the gut feeling, just says a loud NO! This can also be taught to our kids, because as they grow, they've got to learn to listen to their conscience, the little voice that tells them something is off, amidst louder voices that say 'it is well' when it really isn't. According to Today's Parent magazine, parents want to do anything at their disposal and within their means to protect their children from the ills in society because there's just too much evil going around. Remember the #MeToo movement, it has been growing, and conversations about sexual harrasment and assault no longer happen in hushed tones or behind closed doors. Parents can help minimize these and other risks by cultivating loving, trusting, and protective family bonds for their children, while talking to them about that uncomfortable feeling in their tummies that say something may be wrong. It is important therefore, that they trust their own instincts and not just rely on those around them, even adults.
2 I know you can do it
Besides saying words like 'I'm sorry', 'you were right', 'thank you', or 'I like how you did that', one of the most powerful statements a parent can tell his or her child is 'I know you can do it'. Whether a child is the most confident-sounding in the home, or the meek one who chooses to mind his business, most kids can have moments of self-doubt or insecurity, even if they don't say it. Children, according to Famifi, can get easily discouraged when they set out to do something and after a few tries, it doesn't work out. This is where parents step in to encourage them to keep trying and let them know they can do it. What this does to the child is not only increase their confidence, but also lets them know they have back up and someone believes in them. The questions that run in a child's mind through to adolescence stage is whether they're capable enough, what people will think of them if they fail, or whether they have what it takes. In the midst of these doubts, parents need to be their loyal advocates and ardent fans. Sometimes you may have had a long day and can easily say something that negates what your child believes, but say something that makes them feel and know you love them and have their backs - every day.
1 I’m proud of you
Nothing lights up a kid's day like when mom and dad say 'I'm proud of you'. While parents don't necessarily say those actual words every other day, there are things they do and other phrases they use that communicate to the child that his parents are super proud of him. Allprodad says some of these phrases include saying 'you did a great job cleaning your room', 'you're an amazing brother/sister', that was hard work but you finished the job', you're a really great reader', or 'that was a tough situation but you handled it like a champ'. Imagine just how much confidence and pride children will carry as they walk around after hearing their parents say such powerful statements - a lot! Even just attending a sports day or your kid's graduation day and showing how excited you are, tells the child you are really happy and proud of them. You'll actually realize that what children crave for is parents' presence, more than they do the presents, not that the latter isn't important to them, but being with mom and dad is everything. Sometimes the busyness of life works against parents and they don't realize they could encourage their kids even more, yet if done regularly, it actually lifts them up and they grow and develop better, than when parents aren't saying anything.