“A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet
Jenny’s Take: Unfortunately, we sometimes equate being firm with our kids with being harsh on them. Remember, it doesn’t take hard words to teach our child right from wrong. The next time you have an interaction with your child, pay attention to how you sound. Do you like the way your kids hear you? If you’ll create a pause before you talk to your kids in the heat of the moment, you can ask yourself vitally important questions. How do you like to be talked to? Does it encourage or inspire you when people berate or belittle you? Do you want to follow someone who barks at you and seems annoyed with your very presence? The most influential people in the world are able to say hard things in a soft way. That should be our main goal in parenting: to influence our children. One way or another, we are doing just that. Be careful, though, since we are leading our children, we have to watch the path we’re on; that path is the one they are sure to follow. -Jenny Runkel, Director of Content, ScreamFree Institute
The Confident Mom’s Take: A good reminder about the power of our words. I shared on my blog talk radio audio blog last Tuesday about the power of our words (listen below) and gave some wonderful examples of ways to give hope to those needing our encouraging words. Each day we have the perfect opportunity to either build our kids up, or tear them down and it is so easy to forget how our children receive words we say. Often in our busy, hurried days, we get short and our tone is rather “unappealing.” If you haven’t figured out what your pause is, then find out. Would taking a few deep breaths help you slow down your reactions? Would quoting a scripture before you speak slow down the situation? Maybe it is just closing your eyes for 10 seconds and asking for wisdom. Find out what works – this was the secret that gave me the freedom to start changing my behavior, my actions and start being the mom my kids truly needed. It starts with you and you are the beginning of so many opportunities for your kids – make them positive!
If you have found your “pause” button, what is it?