Build them up
I believe in speaking positively to (and of) my children as much as possible. That’s not to say I don’t correct misbehavior or rant about some particularly annoying phase now and then. But I try to make sure they have many positive phrases that I say to them regularly with the idea that they will internalize these ideas and make them their own. I tell Little Bear that he is “my best boy”. [Yes, he’s my only boy…but he doesn’t get that yet.] I tell Belle that she’s “my best six year old girl”, Little Lamb is “my best one year old girl”. You get the idea.
That said, I was overjoyed when Little Bear said to me Wednesday, “Mommy, I cute boy ever!” Because I also tell him every day that he is the cutest boy ever. And he believes it!!