Does It Matter How We Talk to our children?

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( The answer is yes. When my girls were young, there were two words they were forbidden to say in our home to each other or others. Stupid and dumb. Why? I grew up in a household where these two little words were said to me over and over until I started to believe I was stupid and dumb. As a child, those toxic words poisoned my mind, made me feel horrible about myself. Those words did so much damage to my self-esteem and my self-worth that it took me years to unlearn that I was not stupid or dumb.

Why am I telling you this story? I am sure most people with children already know this, but I am going say it anyway. Children are impressionable. If you call them stupid, chances are they are going to believe they are stupid. What’s more, they may even believe that nothing they say or do will ever amount to anything. Which brings me to a deeper question, do words hurt? The obvious answer to that question is also, yes. Some people may disagree and say words don’t hurt. Well, I don’t agree. I reject the notion that words don’t hurt, especially when you have an impressionable child who’s likely to believe your every word.

In the same way, when you pour positiveness in your child, you liable to get good, when you pour negative you are likely to get bad outcomes. How we talk to our kids matters. Not just because we are our children’s first teacher, but also, we are the keepers of their characters. The characters we build in them is what they will show the world. Let’s start building characters in them with our words and actions.

Going back to my children, I always joke with people that my second daughter is the most conceited person I know. I tell people that was the result of what I kept telling her when she was little. Before she could even understand the words, I pour into her, “you are smart, you are beautiful, you are capable, you are worthy, you are special, and you are love.”

I wanted to build into her a strong foundation that no one could penetrate and make her believe otherwise. I wanted to silence the whispers from the people who wanted to compare her with other babies who they thought were either cuter or prettier. But all jokes aside, she’s not as conceited as much as she is sure of the person she is, which is kind, respectful, loving, smart and beautiful. Exactly what was ingrained in her early.

So if you are still asking yourself does it matter how we talk to our children? I recommend comparing and contrasting the child who receives positive feedbacks from their parents versus the child who receives negative feedbacks from their parents. I think you will find you’ll be more in agreement with me than not.

Staff Writer; Kency Desmangles

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