Thursday, March 3, 2011

More Than Words

My 1 year old is only allowed to have her "binky" (aka pacifier) when she is taking a nap or going to bed for the night (We are just about to ween her off it completely). Well, Asher had  found a binky laying around somewhere while she was playing, stuck it in her mouth, & went right back to what she was doing. Well, Aidann noticed this & immediately said, "Bad, Asher!". I could not believe my ears, where did she get that from!? She knows Ash is not supposed to have the binky, but to actually call her "bad" is not her place of course, but also wrong.
Many times I hear parents discipline by saying "Bad, (kids name)" when the kid does something wrong. Why do we go straight for attacking our children's identities, we should be calling the choice/action they made bad instead of the actual child. I would hope that our love for our children is not based off of if they are good 1 day or bad another, because the fact is they are just kids & are going through the process every day of learning what is & is not acceptable. Instead we should focus in on the actual choice they made, "Was that a good choice to throw that?" or "Hitting your sister was a bad choice, we need to make better choices".
As parents our words are going to hold more power than most people. We need to focus in on building our children up instead of constantly tearing them down. Their will be some days that feel like we are scolding more than uplifting, but really try to dig for those good choices they do make no matter how small. "That was so helpful the way you held open that door" or "Thank you for being so quick to obey when I asked you to clean your room". Kids (no matter how much they may try to play it down) love to be encouraged & praised. They really do try hard to make us proud, even though sometimes it may look  like the exact opposite. Lets try our best to keep our kids on the right path of making good choices. Yes, we will have to scold & discipline sometimes, but thats part of being the parent.
Another important thing with words is that we do not always focus on the purely physical aspects of our child, "You are so beautiful or hansome". We need to also tell them how smart they are & talented. Contrary to how the world may make us feel at times, looks are not everything. We should try to encourage our kids not to just rely on how they look or how they are dressed, they have so much more to offer this world & we need to make sure they know this. Looks will fade!
In addition to making sure our kids know we are proud of them by constantly telling them, we need to also make sure they are proud of themselves. For example, say they just played a soccer game or drew a picture, ask them, "Are you proud of yourself?". This is such an important skill to teach our children, to be proud of themselves & their accomplishments.
It is definately a process & will require a concious effort daily on our parts to watch our words & to build up our kids instead of tearing down, but we CAN do it!
-M&M Momma
@ Faith's 1st Birthday
Over Weekend

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