Thursday, August 6, 2009

Speak Those Things

A weekend or so ago, we attended a friend's dedication for her twin boys. One of the things she shared was a reminder to watch our words as parents. Our words are powerful and in speaking words of life over our children we help set them up for positive things.

I've been thinking about it since that day and looking for more ways to speak life into their experience. There are times when it is more of a challenge to deal positively with my little ones. On a good day, I'm speaking gently and using a lot of reminders--focusing on what should be instead of pointing out the negative:

"Speak gently."
"If you want to stand up, please stand on the floor."
"I see you're frustrated. If you'd like me to help you, just ask."
"Let's wait until we get outside to throw the ball."
"Emptying your mouth first, makes it easier for me to understand you."
"Use your words."
"Ask, don't tell."

It does take energy to speak this way and I consult my Montessori-trained BBF when I come to a situation that I realize I'm focusing more on the negative. But even after all of this, there are times when all that is thrown out the window and I just yell! Those aren't pretty times. I am proud to say that they are few and far between...but they do still occur.

My friend's reminder was a good one. All the things I want for them, all the experience I provide for them to learn in, all my hopes for their lives can be maximized or minimized by the words I choose to use with them and about them.

Think about this: perhaps your child is "___________" (fill in with what you say) because that's what she hears you saying about her.

Something that I have purposely done over the past few years is to let my children overhear me bragging on them. I might be on the phone and shoo them out of the room, but leave the door open a bit so they can hear. It's amazing how they behave once I'm off the phone. Something so simple can do so much!

Now think about the opposite.

Our words are life and we speak life into our children's lives with what we say to them and about them. Our words help shape their perspective about the world, about themselves, about us, about other people.

Something I say to my children in teaching them to communicate their thoughts/feelings/etc. with each other and other people is, "Your words are powerful! Use your words. You don't have to scream or shout, cry or whine. Use your words."

What things are you speaking into your child(ren)'s life? [What things are you speaking into your own life? Yeah, that's a whole other post! lol!]

I encourage each of you, as I continue to encourage myself, to speak words of life!

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