"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Said no one ever! Ok, I said those words in elementary school and heard others say those words in a singsongy voice, but I know those words are not true. Words are so powerful! Words are capable of tearing people down and they also have the power to lift, encourage, and build people up. I realized recently (not the first time) that it is so easy to be flippant with the words I speak to my kids.
Do any moms (and dads) out there use any of these words with your kids?
-Sarcasm at an inappropriate time
-Ignoring 'another' story
-Disregarding teenage drama
-Telling the kids, with or without words, to "suck it up!"
I think, if we are honest, most of us are guilty of speaking to our own kids in one of these ways at one time or another. We get so caught up in our own adult world with our own adult problems that we don't actually see what is happening in the life of our kids. Let's be real: Sometimes it's hard to engage!
What is the solution? I've thought about this, and, as with many things I'm working to change in my life, trying harder doesn't usually cut it. I can commit and vow and promise to eliminate my harsh words and poor listening habits toward my kids, but I inevitably end up failing. This seems to send me into a spiral of behaving that way even more. (Ok, maybe I'm really good for two or three days, but then it is triggered again.)
I am really bothered by the thought of what my actions and, especially, my words are doing long-term to my kids. Remember, I love them! But, more than knowing in my head that I love them, I want THEM to know that I love them. And I don't think stopping the bad behavior is enough.
What if we (moms and dads) committed to daily words of affirmation?
Here is the definition of "affirm" from the Webster dictionary:
to say that something is true in a confident way, to show a strong belief in or dedication to, validate, confirm, to state positively, to assert (as a judgment or decree) as valid or confirmed, to express dedication to
Using this definition as a guide, what will you do to affirm your kid(s) this week? Will you commit to intentionally affirming your kids one or two times each week?
Affirmations are part of living an extraordinary life. These words of positive, true, thoughtful, and intentional kindness will change your life, your family, your marriage, your workplace, your church, and your community!
Intentional affirmation is not always easy or natural, but it is worth it!
(I’m Traci, the "Be Extraordinary!" blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)