Shaping Their World with Positive Words
Our words are windows to our hearts and minds. They reveal what we are feeling inside as much as they shape what we become. Words create the emotional landscape by which we live.
So when it comes to very small people building their treasure chest of words, we want to do our best to show them positive words, rather than negative words.
The words my three year old uses are a barometer to his wellbeing. He uses words like “happy” and “beautiful” often. The fullness of his pronunciation, getting all the o into his o’s, and touching every last inch of the “ellll’s” tell me that his engine is in full gear, with every last piston getting use, and we are on the road to something wonderful. I take the light in his eyes and the brightness of his smile and his musical way of hitting all the high and low notes as he sounds out his sentences as sure signs of happiness.
As a mom striving to raise a child every bit as happy as he is bright, I am struck by how much negativity there is in the world, and how quickly young people seem to pick it up. Sometimes it is my own actions and behavior that fall short of my ideals. None of us is perfect. If I misbehave or misspeak in a moment of frustration in front of my child, I try to correct myself, and apologize to my son, so that he understands that my behavior was wrong and not something he should model.
Once when I was hanging up from a frustrating phone call, I muttered “This is bullshit” in front of my not yet three year old. “What’s bullshit?” he asked. We were in the lobby of my mother’s apartment building, and I was pretty sure the doorman overheard both of us, and I was mortified. “Nothing,” I told him. “I shouldn’t have said that. That is not a good word to use,” I said.
But sure enough, my child logged this choice word into his little noggin. A few weeks later, when his father and I were arguing in front of him, he said, “Stop this bullshit, guys.”
His father and I just looked at one another, speechless. Of course, my child was absolutely right that we should stop the bullshit! But I am thankful that he seems to have forgotten the word since them, as his father and I have remembered to mind our behavior.
Too often as adults we can become jaded, disillusioned, and life can lose its luster. We become dispirited, inured to the violence that squawks on our TV’s and mindless of the negativity and hatred that spews from our own mouths. We need to try harder to clear the slate, make our minds open up and be mirrors, bright, clear mirrors to our wee one’s souls. It requires us to have an openness that our children have, which we have long lost. It requires us to look at ourselves through our children’s eyes, and remember that every step of the way we are guiding them and imprinting their minds through our words and actions.
Yesterday I stood in a kinder class and gazed upon the shining faces of a handful of young children singing along with a husky voiced man who played the guitar. “Don’t worry… Be happy,” they sang.
And they were.
I love this blog post that I found suggesting positive words to use with our kids. We aren’t just what we eat. We are what we speak.