Ideally, parents should be affirming, encouraging, and building up their children every day. And most parents want to do that for their kids. But we can remember what those years are like and how easy it is to let the day-to-day details of life get in the way of best intentions as parents.

That may be what your adult child and his or her spouse are going through right now. Maybe they’re great parents and they consistently give their kids lots of positivity and praise … but they aren’t perfect. No parents are, as we certainly know from experience. Still, all children need lots of encouragement and affirmation.

As grandparents, we’re in a great position to be their biggest fans.

And it’s all about consistently speaking positive words to them. One grandparent sent us some great examples of this. His mother used to tell her grandchildren,

“I love you from the top of your head to the bottom of your toes.”

And his dad would always tell them,

“You are a precious jewel.”

And now he gets to continue the habit with his own grandkids …

“You are one of my best blessings.”

“You’re one of my best dreams.”

“I always feel your hug.”

It’s a simple but powerful habit that we can all start (or continue) today and every chance we have with our grandkids—whether we take care for them a few days each week, see them a few times a month, or interact through calls and texts and emails from long distance.

It makes a difference for kids when they know someone important is crazy about them.

And it really isn’t that difficult. Just think of a positive statement about how your grandkids make you feel—something you could hear yourself repeating again and again to your grandkids. Maybe it’s unique to who you are or your special connection with each grandchild. You could say, “My day is so much better with you in it.” One grandpa always tells one of his grandkids, “You’re my favorite brown-eyed granddaughter.” (And she’s his only granddaughter with brown eyes, but she still gets the message loud and clear.)

Another great idea is to use a word picture. “You’re a precious jewel.” “You’re a ray of sunshine.” “You really light up the room.” “Seeing you is like drinking a tall glass of lemonade on a hot summer day.” You get the idea. Use some metaphors and similes to give a visual image for your love and affection. Use something that’s meaningful to you and try to make it meaningful for your grandchild—and then keep repeating it. Maybe it can become a special “thing” between just the two of you.

One more great way to bless a grandchild is to picture a special future for him or her. Not many of us are prophets, but our positive words can influence what our grandkids believe about themselves, maybe dream about, and work toward as they go through life. This could be as simple as noticing and commenting on your grandchild’s gifts and abilities. You could say something like, “You have a great gift of compassion for others. I could see you using that to help and comfort people in need someday.” Or maybe, “You’re so creative! I can’t wait to see how you use your talents as you grow up.”

Our words are powerful. Let’s make sure we take those great feelings we have about being grandparents and verbalize them to affirm and bless our grandkids.

Do you have certain sayings you use to express love to your grandkids? Please add some more examples by leaving a comment on our Facebook page.