The Power of Our Words – Part 1 (of 3)

The Power of our Words is such a big topic that I am splitting this post into 3 so we can digest it slowly and together. It is an important topic to grasp because our voice is more present in the lives of our children than any other voice (especially when they are young). Let’s get started with Part 1:

It happens too often. I make breakfast for the kids. The cereal is out. The milk is out. I have to put both back where they belong. When I grab the milk, I am thinking about putting the cereal away in the pantry and where does my body start to move? Yep… towards the pantry. Oops! My milk – it ends up on the pantry shelf!The power of our words in the lives of our kids.

Has this happened to you? Maybe your jelly ends up in the cupboard and peanut butter in the refrigerator. Or maybe you’re not paying attention at all when your cell phone ends up in the freezer. Oye! We KNOW the power of our thoughts to move us in the right (or wrong) direction, don’t we?

Do you know how often you talk to yourself and how those words direct your emotions and actions?

Think about this – really think about it before reading on. Where does our self-talk come from?

For so many of us, it is OUR voice, but shaped by the voices of parents, coaches or significant others. These are the voices that fill up our heads and direct our actions. Sadly, we are products of a broken world – one where people do not always speak kindly to each other. Where words can be painful and stick with us longer than the giver of those words intended. Where even our own voices are our worst critic.

But remember? It is our job to give our kids a solid foundation. Can we do them a favor by intentionally giving them words of encouragement, love, truth, instruction and grace? I will be suggesting three ways to plant seeds of good thoughts in the minds of our children. Today I will cover just one:

Positive Instruction.

Instruction comes in many forms. We can tell our kids what NOT TO DO or we can tell them what TO DO. When I say “Don’t SPILL your milk”, the dominant thought in my child’s head is SPILL. What will she move towards? You have it right… SPILLing her milk.

She is also working hard to avoid spilling her milk so as to not disappoint her mama; in other words, she is afraid to spill it. Along with fear comes muscle tension, less control over motor skills, and quicker breathing and heart rates. These physiological changes might be subtle, but they are certainly not setting her up for success. Can you imagine? 3-year old children already have a tough time controlling their muscle movements – add a little extra muscle tension? Talk about uncoordinated movements!

What will set her up for success? Words that focus on POSITIVE INSTRUCTION. “Use both hands sweetheart” or “Remember to place your cup in the center of the table”.The power of our words on the lives of our children.

By telling our kids what to do, they are not focused on the many ways they can screw up; they are focused on the ways they can succeed.

How do or can you use positive instruction with your kids?

Stay tuned for Part 2!

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