The words that we use towards our children have the power to build them up, or they can break their spirits in tearing them down. I can remember growing up being teased by my aunts about my busty esthetic, my short kinky hair, and “funny” colored brown skin (meaning I didn’t fit in being light skinned or dark skinned). My eldest daughter favors me in appearance, and she has my double dimples. I took a stand to those same aunts in protecting my daughter from enduring their teasing. I can remember growing up watching 90’s sitcoms being at bit in envy when the adolescent or teen character would rebel against their parents teachings. Despite their behavior the soft music would play in the background of warm guiding words of wisdom from their parents in response to their mischievous actions. My grandfather and mother were filled with a wealth of wisdom. They were far from being blessed with tone in giving advice though, and they were far from tender in reprimanding. I appericate the tough love that was giving to me as a child. It helped me stay out of trouble “mostly ” growing up. Their advice helped mold me into the woman I am today. However, there were times growing up the words of the adults surrounding me were hurtful and unnecessary. Some of those words left a lasting impression, and I vowed that I would never allow my children to experience such interactions.
No Parent Is Perfect
Many of us have our moments of frustration with our children. We say the same things over and over again in telling them something, yet they seem to do the opposite. We give our children loving guidance, and they still choose to be rebellious in seeing things for themselves. Children will always test the waters in instruction; it’s their natural instinct. There are very few of us who are immune to not snapping, but in those moments it’s okay for us as parents to take a “time out” for ourselves to later come back to the situation. It’s better to have a cool down than to have a blow up that you will later regret. We can’t take back the words that we say to our children after they’ve been said. We have to tread with caution with using our words, tones, and actions regarding our children.
Here are some helpful tips in covering our words towards our children:
- Don’t say anything around your children that you wouldn’t want repeated.
- Speak up and take stand if you see that your child(ren) or others are being bullied, teased, or mistreated by another adult.
- Know that there is power in tone where our words can open their hearts along with their ears. You don’t have to have a symphony orchestra playing in the background when reprimanding or giving guidance to your child when speaking. However, know that your tone can open them up or close them out.
- Surround your children with other adults that will feed them positive words of affirmation, guidance, and encouragement.
- Pause and give yourself a time out when upset. Don’t say something that you will later regret.
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