The way we talk to children becomes their inner voice.
All of us have inner voice. Sometimes our inner voice tells us how great we are. How smart we are. How important we are. Sometimes though our inner voice is full of fear and negative thoughts. Where did that inner voice come from? According to our quote today from Peggy O’Mara, that inner voice partially came from our parents. It came from words that they said, the way that they said them to us, their gestures, their sighs – all of that helped to shape our inner voice.
When my children were babies I told my children how wonderful they were all of the time. I affirmed their first steps, their first meal, their first words. But as they got older that “witch on a broomstick” came out and my words and actions conveyed a whole different meaning. I never called them stupid, or anyone other derogatory words but I still conveyed a whole lot of things I wish I could take back. Words hurt, but so do sighs, and clicks of our tongues. We are talking to our children when get exasperated with their behavior even if we say nothing. We are talking to our children when we shrug our shoulders and walk away. We are talking to our children when we re-do the chores we asked them to do. All of these seemingly small insignificant “words” become their inner voice over time.
So…be careful how you “talk” to your children. Take care of yourself so that you are always at your best, pause and think, and remember that every word, every gesture, every sound you communicate to your children, will be in their heads for a very, very long time.
Have some fun today!