You are what you eat
Have you ever paid attention to the things that you say in front of your children? It’s amazing how many people I’ve observed talking about their child in front of their child. Have you ever heard the phrase “you are what you eat”. I think the phrase “you are what you are told you are” to be quite similar. Imagine going through life hearing other people describe you as “he doesn’t like that” or “she just can’t do it”, “you’ll never get her to do that”, “she is just so naughty”, “he won’t try anything new”, or “she just won’t sit still”. If you heard these kinds of things being said about you wouldn’t you begin to believe it yourself or begin to identify yourself in this way because you just begin to believe this is who you are.
The other day a little boy was born to my husband’s brother and his wife. This of course generated a lot of discussion with my husband and I. “Is 2 kids enough?”, “Do we want another child?”, “I just don’t think we need another kid.” The conversation continued the entire way home from the hospital and into our home, where my children were running around and playing – really not paying attention, right? This wasn’t even a conversation I could see as being a problem if my children were listening to it. What’s wrong with a harmless discussion like this with our kids around? To my surprise I laid my 4 year old down for bed that night and she looks right at me and said, “Mom, did you want me?”. Ugh, my heart sank. I’m so glad she asked that question so I could reassure her that we wanted her more than anything.
Keep in mind how everthing you talk about with and around your child can and will impact your child in some way. Even if to you it doesn’t seem harmful, it could be tearing your child apart. My daughter was able to process the information she was hearing and clear things up by asking me that question. What if she hadn’t and kept internalizing that, believing she wasn’t wanted. I can’t imagine the impact that could have had on her long term.
On that note:
- watch what you say
- encourage your children
- talk about them positively
- let the catch you saying something good about them to some one else
- don’t be afraid to apologize if you said something you shouldn’t have
Words are powerful, use them wisely!
Until next week and hopefully from the desk of my new office, Michelle