Tools For Learning

Inspiration for Parents & Educators

Take Responsibility for Your Words

on January 6, 2015
Mother daughter relationships are special

Over the last few weeks while shopping for holiday gifts for my granddaughters, I was taken back more than a couple of times, by the use of words and tone taken by moms and dads to their young children.

WORDS ARE POWERFUL! Are you accountable for your words? Are your words harsh or are they positive and instructive? Do your kids really understand your words in a tirade? Be clear with your words, Say what you mean and give reasons why. Double check that your kids understand your intention.

Be understanding when you listen to your kids. Don’t jump to conclusions without becoming clear on what they are telling you. Take the time to understand their words, just as you take the time to make sure they understand yours.

Use questions in place of dogmatic demands. Controlling, scolding, threatening words create frightened children. Turn things around with gentle questions, and you then allow your kids to maintain their dignity. Instead of instructing your kids to “Do this” or “Do that”, ask them the best way to settle the situation. “Why do you think I ask you to wash your hands before dinner?” “How do you think Devon would feel if she wasn’t invited to your birthday party? “Why do you think you need to wear a helmet and knee pads when your learning to skate?”

Take responsibility for your words. Change your speech habits. If you use negative words, catch yourself. Count how many times you say “don’t” or “no” to your young ones. Say “don’t or “no” out loud to yourself and experience the feeling. These words can push away the spirit out of any situation. Of course you need to use firm words in times of danger or in emergencies, but habitual “no’s” begin to wear away your kids self-esteem and dampen their spirits.

How often we all blurt out a “no” out of habit. “Mom, I’d like to make a picture for dad with my new paints.” “No, sweetie, not now, it’s too messy.” It would only take a few minutes to clean up the mess, and it will bring great joy to your child to create something original. Dad will be so pleased to receive that precious gift,also. And you’ll be glad that Dad and your little one are happy. “Dad, Let’s have a snack, I’m hungry now. “No, it’s almost time for dinner” Really, what would it hurt if your kid just had a little fruit snack or one cracker if he’s really hungry? I don’t mean that this situation should continue daily but once in a while it won’t be harmful. Be more flexible. The world won’t end because you relaxed your rules for once and the best part: Everybody wins!

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