Can you think back and remember something rude that someone said to you as a child? It’s amazing how long those memories last. I remember when I had braces as a pre-teen (the most awkward of stages!!) & kids yelling out the bus at me, calling me “fish lips.” And I know that we’ve all had a lot worse things said to us and about us. I sure have. But, it’s funny that I still remember that insult many years later. We pack it up and take it with us on our lives.
I was at Target a couple days ago and overheard a mom screaming and swearing at her kids. And, seriously, I don’t believe in going around judging when a mom is frustrated with her kids. We’ve all been there. We’ve all lost it. I understand that kids can push you to the brink. This was unlike anything I had ever heard before and it broke my heart for her kids.
That circumstance made me look at myself. Am I overly critical? Am I easily frustrated? Am I honest in my communication or do I take my life-frustrations out on my kids? This is when we all need to ask ourselves: How are my words impacting them? Will they remember my temperamental outburst for the rest of their lives?
To counteract the negativity, I want to concentrate on some WORDS YOUR FAMILY NEEDS TO HEAR:
- I love you. You can say this in all sorts of ways. Make sure you do! Make your kids feel it from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet. Make sure they feel your unconditional love when they fail, frustrate, disappoint, and make poor decisions. Don’t make it contingent on anything.
- God made you special. Know the gifts that your child has and tell them what they are. Don’t tell them they are good at everything. They won’t be able to distinguish when you are just being nice and when you really mean it.
- You can do it. You don’t know how to do it…YET. Everything takes time, work, patience and work. Oh, did I mention everything takes work? We don’t quit in the middle or when things get hard. But, I believe that you can do it! (Obviously, while helping them make realistic goals.)
- We’re on the same team. When there is conflict, misunderstandings, give them the benefit of the doubt. We are on the same team even if we are trying to get there from two different places.
- Yes! Don’t always go negative and say no before you’ve processed their request. Try to say yes as much as possible. If they want to do something you don’t want to do…say yes. You just might really enjoy it.
- How could you have done that better? Ok, so they were rude, talked back, messed up and failed miserably. How could you have handled that better? Help them learn from their failures and process what to do the next time. Think training instead of critiquing. If they are doing something wrong, go back and retrain. Stop the continual critiquing.
(Don’t worry, I’m talking to myself on all of these, too!!)
This was one of my posts on Instagram and a year verse for me.
Parents, we are doing the toughest job in the world. But, we have more encouragement, resources and training than ever. Not that it is an easy job, but it’s totally worth it!
Join the newsletter
Subscribe to get our latest content by email.