There was a time (I’m sure there has been more than one!) when my children were driving me crazy. Crazy like they haven’t stopped talking, shouting, arguing all afternoon and I wanted to pull my hair out.
I made the mistake of saying just that – “You’re going to make me pull my hair out!” My middle son who is very literal looked at me all perplexed and asked, “won’t that hurt?”
There was another instance when my oldest son and I were discussing his Halloween costume. He was going to be a giant inflatable dinosaur and we were talking about how it “blows up”. My youngest again looked confused and said, “I don’t want him to blow up .That will hurt him.” He thought his brother was going to quite literally explode in his Halloween costume.
This kid keeps me laughing and on my toes, but also constantly reminds me of the importance of saying what I mean. There are many children who don’t understand sarcasm or slang and it is imperative that we say exactly what we mean when speaking to them. The words coming out of our mouths have the ability to leave a lasting impression – good, bad or otherwise.
It should always be our intent to leave a positive impression, however, if we’re constantly saying one thing, but doing another, we’re telling our children we can not be trusted and we will not do what we say.
Say what you mean and mean what you say so your children will always be aware of what is expected of them. By being conscious of the words coming out of our mouth we can limit the stress our children experience in confusion.
When we mean what we say, we’re reiterating that we are trust worthy and will care for their needs. By choosing our words carefully, we can bond with our children through consistency, reminding them they are safe and secure.