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It’s all too easy to speak without thinking. Yet our words have a powerful impact on our kids. They have the power to build our children up or destroy their self-esteem. How are your words today?
“How many times do I have to tell you …”
My sons’s voice echoed down the hallway. I peeked around the corner and watched as he harshly admonished his toys.”
My heart sunk to the pit of my stomach. I was hearing the echoes of my own words. Was I really that stern? Did I really speak that harshly? Yet my son had picked up the way I spat out those particular words and was even pointing his finger the way I did.
Our children pick up on our words
Have you ever recognized your own voice in your child’s play? Children are wonderful mimics. They absorb everything that is going on around them and then mirror it in their play.
This is particularly true of words. Our children will copy our vocabulary, our accent, and any particular phrases we say often. Sometimes it can be quite funny. Other times it can be downright uncomfortable.
The power of words
Words have tremendous power. The right words can
- Give hope
- Convey love
- Tell wonderful stories
- Express understanding
- Forge Connection
And those are all good things in families right? But as we all know words can also be damaging and harmful.
The power of words
I recently watched a compelling video that talks about the power of words. Take a few moments and watch it now. If you can’t see the video you can find it here.
Pretty thought provoking right? This video really made me think about the way in which I used my words. As a mother it challenges me to consider the impact of MY words on my children. Take a few moments to reflect on the ways your words are affecting your relationships with your children.
Do your words
- Build bridges or walls?
- Display forgiveness, or harden hearts?
- Convey irritation or love?
- Build up or tear down?
- Express acceptance or shame?
- Make our children’s day?
As we step out into this New Year let us be aware of the impact our words have on our children. Let us practice using words that will encourage, affirm, reassure, and build strong connections.
To Find Out More
Alissa at Creative With Kids has a list of resources to help us parents stop yelling and start connecting.
Just before I finish this post I just want to remind you of something important. We all live through days where everything seems to go horribly wrong. We wake up with the best of intentions and yet events seem to conspire against us and in frustration we can find ourselves yelling or spitting out harsh and damaging words.
Do not despair, for even on those hard days we have access to the most powerful words of all. We just need the courage to speak them.
“I’m sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me.”