We all know the words we speak are powerful. Think of a time you’ve been on the other side of an encouraging word, or words of critics which have made you feel devalued.
As parents, we’ve all said words to our children in the heat of the moment.
You’re trying to leave the house, your child’s not dressed, in fact, they are refusing to budge. Time is ticking by and you’ve got to leave the house in 2 minutes! Frustration is growing within you! In moments like these, we have all been guilty of losing it, shouting and then feeling regret! You may have had a passing thought ‘have I damaged my child’s self-esteem’? ‘I wish I had more self-control!’.
Well, I want to give you some good news, a word of encouragement! You’re doing a good job, parenting is hard going and no one is ever prepared for the journey! You see we have all experienced and will continue to experience moments when we’ve said harsh words, lost our temper with our kids.
Fortunately, our children are way more resilient than we give them credit for. But the reality is, the words we speak over time do matter. What I mean by this is, when we are intentional with the words we say to our children they have tremendous influence. So I want to encourage you to create moments in your everyday activities for intentional words of affirmation, spaces where the words you speak will grow over time and bring a sense of worth to your child.
In the morning
You set the tone, the words you speak in the morning matter. Tell them you love them, tell them you know they’re gonna smash it at school today, tell them you believe in them. Maybe write them a note and leave it in their bag to find later.
On the walk or drive home take the opportunity to ask about their day. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t want to share, the very fact you’re asking speaks volumes to your child.
This is one of the best parts of the day to regroup and find out how everyone’s doing. Everyone’s schedule can be crazy so making mealtimes where everyone is present is a challenge, so decide at least once a week you’ll all sit and eat together. This is a great opportunity to talk.
No child is too big for a goodnight chat. Lean in and listen to their heart. Here’s the opportunity to listen to what’s going on in your child’s life. At this moment you become a counsellor.
Using the everyday rhythm of your day to be intentional with the words you speak brings direction to your child. Over time, your words help them see they are valued, significant and unique.