Department of Family Services – Children, Youth and Families

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-7500 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Pennino Building
Fairfax, VA 22035
Oriane Eriksen

Words Matter – Words of Encouragement for Children

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month banner 2022

Take the Words Matter Challenge this April during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Parents and caregivers, be intentional every day to speak words of encouragement that build up children’s sense of worth! 

Children are listening all the time, even when adults least expect it. Children notice the way you talk to yourself and others. Most of all, they notice the way you talk to them and about them. Model self-love for your children, and show compassion and caring in your interactions with children (and others) to nurture kindness and resilience in them. 

We all know that a few kind words can change your entire outlook on a situation, but it can be a challenge to think of positive things to say in the moment. So, we’ve compiled a list of words of encouragement to use in various situations to help parents be their children’s biggest champions.

These affirmations will help spark ideas for different phrases you can use to show love, motivate children, provide support during a tough time, and boost their self-esteem.

Remember, children and teenagers are counting on their families, friends, and other caring adults to support them in good times and bad. Accept the Words Matter Challenge and start a lifelong habit.

Be the Voice They Need to Hear during Child Abuse Prevention Month and every month.

Words of Encouragement for Children

Mom and Daughter smiling

  • I love you
  • You can do it
  • You are a good person
  • I am grateful for you
  • I am proud of you
  • You are special
  • That was a really good choice
  • Mistakes mean you are trying
  • You matter
  • You are an amazing person
  • Just be yourself 
  • You are a creative thinker 
  • Do your best
  • I trust you 
  • It’s not your fault 
  • You make a difference
  • You are one of a kind
  • You are brilliant
  • You have choices
  • You are worthy
  • You were right
  • It's okay to be scared (or sad)
  • It's your body
  • You have a voice
  • Love yourself
  • I see you are trying
  • I believe in you
  • How can we work together to fix this?
  • I am here to listen
  • You are safe
  • It will be okay
  • You are a great helper
  • What a great question/idea


Fairfax County is a community that is absolutely dedicated to the safety of children and to providing the appropriate supports to parents to keep families healthy. The Department of Family Services’ signature Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention campaign is focused on Building Stronger Families. 

Strong families can provide safe and healthy childhoods and lead to creating a thriving community.


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Fairfax Virtual Assistant