Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Power of Words

“Words are instruments, they are tools that, in their different ways, are as effective as any sharp edge or violate chemical. They are, like coins, items of great value, but they represent a currency that, well spent, returns ever greater riches.” ― Tim Radford

I mean, everyone knows that words are incredibly powerful, I'm not writing today to point that out.  I just wanted to mention that the words your child says are even more exponentially powerful to parents, something you just can't conceive of until you experience it, I believe.

Maeve has been discovering the power of her words, particularly, the ones that will get her put in time out.  There's just one I'm not putting up with at the moment, which is stupid.  She's noticed that she can rile me up pretty well with that word.  I'm hoping she will learn, as I keep telling her, that words can hurt people, and that purposefully hurting people is always wrong.  Time-out city.

I don't know if she's quite noticed the power her positive words have, although I try to convey that to her.  The other day, I asked her if I could put barrettes in her hair.  She said no, because she wanted her hair to look beautiful, just like Mommy's.  My happy tank ran for days on that one.

The older she gets, the more spontaneous "I love you"s I get from her, and each one of those is enough to give me great, deep joy for days.  It nearly balances out all the yelling, fighting, and general unpleasantness of the 3s. 

Maybe it doesn't go without saying, but I work hard to choose my words carefully around her, too.  I try not to name-call, which is easy when you're angry, but instead point out the behaviour I don't like.  Instead of telling her she's a baby when she has an accident, I try to ask her why she isn't acting like the big girl I know she is.  It might seem like a subtle distinction, but I know a parent's words are a powerful force, and I don't want mine to be a battering ram.

Anyway, spread a kind word for me today, would you?  Kindness costs so little, and so much good is done by it.

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