I’ve been made extra aware of the power of words over the last year. In my Intro to Psychology class last fall we talked a lot about the power of words and the meaning behind them. For example, what are you really saying when you say something or someone is “crazy” and what could be a better word choice.
I have experienced the most profound examples in listening to my children speak. When you hear yourself, it can be eye opening. Simon called Rob a jerk a couple of months ago. Simon was angry. It was not ok. But…how many times have Rob or I said one of the kids was acting like a jerk in their hearing range? Part correcting the problem language is a matter of better modeling. I’m working on it.
My latest revelation is hearing how often we say “That’s not important right now, you need to…” or “I don’t care, what we are doing now is…” Simon is a dawdler. And it is maddening. So we say some variation of this often. I’m starting to worry that what he is hearing is “You are not important” and “I don’t care what you want”. I want to get better at taking the moment to see whatever thing is so important to him he has to do it right now. But in those moments where we actually do need to keep moving – like trying to get out the door for school? Any advice on a better word choice?