Our words shape our children, be gentle!

The thing we say to our children now, will impact them for the rest of their lives.  Lily-Ann is five now, but one day she’ll be thirty-five and she’ll hear my words reverberate through her mind.  What I say to her today will one day become her inner dialogue.  It’s a scary and weighty thing.

The one thing I find myself saying, that I try to catch myself on before it slips out, is “How old are you?” in a rather shaming tone.  If she’s acting like a nincompoop, using baby talk, whining, or feigning that something is just too hard (when I’ve seen her do it dozens, if not hundreds, of times before) I’ll ask her how old she is.  If I catch myself after the fact?  I try to goofy it up a bit by wrinkling up my nose and saying in a goofy tone “Are you two?  No…  you’re three.  No, wait, that’s not right…”  I hate the idea that my frustrated “how old are you” may one day be what she hears in her head when she feels needy or stressed.

It’s a heavy thing, knowing the small things we say or do – sometimes out of frustration or exhaustion – may one day shape our children’s inner dialogues.  I do my best to fill her mind with things like “if you work hard enough, you can do anything” or “be gentle to yourself”…  but I’m only human, and, well…  chances are I’ll still mess her up.

Being broken is part of the human condition.  But I’m doing my best to shape my daughter’s view of herself into something positive.  She is strong, she is capable, she is utterly fabulous, and she is deeply and truly loved – THAT is what I want her to remember when she feels weak, when she feels tired, when she feels broken.

Advertisements

About Tobi-Dawne

Tobi-Dawne Smith is many things to many people... photographer, canine behaviour expert, equal rights activist, green politician, lactivist, intactivist, writer, crafter, dog handler, third wave feminist, etc. But most important in her life is her role as mother to an amazing five year old. Learn more about TD at http://www.tobi-dawne.com/ follow her blog at https://td365.wordpress.com/ get to know her daughter at http://lilyannslemonade.wordpress.com/ or check out her work at http://tdphotography.me/

Posted on July 30, 2012, in Family, Feminism, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You’re so right in what you’re writing, but we have to take our own responsibility as adults too .. Because not all of us will get the childhood and teens as it should really be, but still we can’t go through our adult life blaming everything on our childhood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: