#MicroblogMondays: Power of Words

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?

3 thoughts on “#MicroblogMondays: Power of Words

  • February 24, 2016 at 12:31 pm
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    It is really hard. I know I use “crazy” too much. And I inwardly pause when I hear myself use it. It is hard to break a lifetime of habits, even though the work to do so is important work. I would turn it around and say, “Hey, I just realized I said that. What is a better way I could have told you that it was important to get moving?” Make the kid think about how they would rather hear the words.

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  • March 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm
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    Maybe, “now is not the time for this, we need to get moving” or a variation on this … “we can talk about this later/you can tell me later, but now it’s important to get moving” might work? I like that you think about the importance of words too. They can do so much damage, even when this is the opposite of what we intend.

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  • March 11, 2016 at 7:58 am
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    I am so proud of you for noticing and caring about the use of words. I think about these little ears and what they are internalizing, especially when they hear “you are being a jerk” because of course a kid is not being a jerk. I read a lot about our dog when we got one and the books insisted that the dog “is being the best dog that he/she can be”….I thought if we can give a dog that much credit, can’t we give our children/spouse/etc… that much credit too. Chip and I actually say, “I am being the best puppy I can be,” when we feel that the other person isn’t giving one of us a break. I firmly believe that children are being the best puppies that they can be. Dawdlers are infuriating, but really, if that is the worst thing going on….start a half hour earlier KNOWING that you are probably going to have to say….Ummm, yes tell me about that…and let the kid speak…and repeat a few of his words so that he knows that you heard him, yes, validate him! Those three minutes could seriously improve your whole day! When he is a fifteen year old, you will wish that you had given him these few extra minutes to express himself and that you had focused, breathed, and let him know that you heard him and that you love him more than life itself. The world is a tough place and he really needs to know that his mommy and daddy always hear him, love him, and have his back. I would love to never hear you say “jerk” about him ever again. Rather say,” I know you are having a tough time right now, so could you try to concentrate and come here, get that, pick up xxxxxx,” whatever it may be that you mistakenly thought was more important than looking him in the eye, hearing what he has to say for 3 minutes, validating it, then…..moving on. That is love. P.S. I DO think that you are a very good mommy! It is hard to be attentive 24/7.

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