Our words have power. They can hurt, encourage, motivate, and destroy. Think of all the words you say in a day. Many could be meaningless and harmful.
I saw a movie recently called “A Thousand Words” where a man only had 1,000 words left to speak before he would die. Everything he said, from ordering food in a restaurant to buying a new car had to be weighed to see if it was really worth using his valuable words. Suddenly he became very very stingy with his speech. He thought about what he wanted to say and put heartfelt meaning into each word.
If you had a quota of words to use each day, would you perhaps choose them more carefully?
Your daily ration of words
If you did have to ration your words, what would you be sure to say every day to your child? Would you waste your ration on nagging or yelling or gossip? Or would you choose to dispense words that have the power to nurture, heal, motivate, and guide?
To foster security, self-esteem, and strength in your child, be sure your daily word ration includes phrases like these:
1. I love you (and nothing you do or say will change that). You can never, ever say this too much. You may think it’s going in one ear and out the other. But trust me, it’s not.
2. I am proud of you. My dad looked deep into my eyes and told me this often. I believed him.
3. I believe in you. Words like that will help your child soar.
4. Will you forgive me? Not easy, I know. But sometimes it’s the only right thing to do.
5. I am listening. In order for this to be believable, put down your phone, your iPad, your book, your newspaper, and look at them eye-to-eye.
6. I forgive you. Say it and them show them you mean it by not bringing up the past over and over again.
7. What do you think/feel? You don’t have to agree with what they say, but listening will validate that their opinions and ideas are worthwhile.
8. How was your day? You may not get an answer, but don’t stop asking. It’s your way of saying “I care and I’m interested in you.”
9. Let’s talk. This is easy when kids are small, but the older they get, the more resistant they may become to good communication. Don’t give up on them. Let them know you are always available to talk, listen, and love on them. Let them know that “let’s talk” is an ongoing invitation to them and that you are there when they are ready to share.
10. You can do this. Encourage your child to not quit, to keep pursuing dreams, and to keeping fighting when things get tough.
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