Sunday, June 24, 2012

Words

Maybe it's the fact that I have spend the weekend working on homework for my graduate classes, and that much of what I'm reading, writing, and thinking about has to do with words, but today I got thinking about how powerful words really are. This is something that I try to convey to my students, that words - both written and spoken - have a force. They have the capacity to do so many things. My mind meandered and brought me to thoughts about the words I say to Abby.  By no means do I always say the right thing, in fact there are so many times when I say exactly the wrong thing, but there are four phrases that I make sure to include in each of Abby's days.
Abby proudly displaying her picture of a
"Merida (from "Brave") shooting an arrow"
 - I can see that, can't you? Didn't she do a good job?
And isn't hersmile beautiful?
I'm sorry, but I love this kid!
  1. I love you - I want Abby to be certain that she is loved - I mean really certain. Most days I can't count how many times I tell her I love her - or how many ways. I will ask her things like, "Do you know how much I love you?" to which she will likely respond, "Yeah." There are also the funny I love you songs we sing that get Bruiser going, but when I truly want to get my point across I will look her in the eye and very simply say, "I love you." It is important that she hears those words often from me, and that she knows they are important words.
  2. You are beautiful - Sometimes it may come out as, "You are so pretty!", but the idea is the same. She is beautiful. Her smile can light up a room, her laughter can brighten my spirit, and those pink little cheeks are just so kissable, I can hardly stand it. She needs to know she is beautiful, both inside and out.
  3. Good job! - Many things don't come easily to Abby, so when she spends time working on filling a paper with color, or cutting that same paper into tiny pieces, or even takes a trip to the potty all by herself, she's done a good (dare I say "great"?) job. I know that I work best when I feel encouraged, and why wouldn't Abby feel the same? She does a lot of "good jobs" throughout the day, and I want her to feel that by the end of it. I know that a lot of little "good jobs" can add up to one big feeling of, "I can do it!"
  4. I'm sorry - Whether it be when I mistakenly step on her foot as I am walking past, or because I lost my patience with her, I need to make sure that she knows I'm sorry when I've done something wrong. I expect her to apologize when she does wrong, why wouldn't I? I sometimes wonder if parents got the idea somewhere that we can't be vulnerable in front of our kids, but to me, apologizing shows strength - not weakness. 
Today's post is a reminder to me, not to discount my words and to always remember how very, very important they are. I used all of these phrases today, when I apologized for raising my voice when she wouldn't let go of my sweater, when she proudly showed me the pictures she had colored, when she came to show me how wonderfully she had brushed through her hair (on her own) after her bath, and when we were cuddling before bedtime. Yes, I must never forget the importance of words, because words have power.

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