To our children, what we say shapes their identity

The things you say to them will stay with them for the rest of their days!

When I was a kid, my parents would sometimes be really mean to me. At those times, I remember thinking, "I'll never be that mean to my own kids." Even though I'm not perfect, I still try to keep that promise to myself.

We've all been there: we've told our kids the rules a million times, but they still come home with dirty shoes, leave their dirty clothes on the floor, leave snack wrappers in their room, or forget to do their homework and come home with a score of 0. It's easy to get angry in the moment and to say the wrong thing to them. But it's important to keep in mind that the things you say to your child will become their inner monologue. You are the voice inside them.

You can decide if that speech is a cheerleader or a bully. That might sound like a big deal, and if you believe in stricter ways of raising kids, it might sound like hogwash. But I'm here to tell you that people with small brains take in everything they hear and see. You can't change what you've said. When your child is caught drawing on the walls and you yell, "I can't believe how STUPID you can be!" what your child hears is that they are stupid. You can wash the wall. There are better ways to teach your child. You can never stop calling them stupid, though.

Think about what your own inner voice sounds like. Do you tend to have negative thoughts about yourself? Do the words you use sound familiar if you do? It's likely that it does, and that voice is likely the voice of the person who took care of you the most when you were young. And whether they were too nice or too mean, it's likely that they had a big effect on your inner voice, for better or worse.

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It's important to talk to kids in a deliberate way. If you're mad at them, you should be mad at what they did, not at who they are. Have compassion for your little people. Yes, she may have dropped the pitcher of tea on the floor, making it sticky with sugar, but that could happen to anyone, right? It's not a chance to break up with your child. Instead, this is a great time to talk about how to be careful. If your child makes a mistake, it's probably not the end of the world. Even if it is, it's not likely to be a reason to be mean (emotional or otherwise.) Don't forget, little people.

Think about what your own inner voice sounds like. Do you tend to have negative thoughts about yourself? Do the words you use sound familiar if you do? It's likely that it does, and that voice is likely the voice of the person who took care of you the most when you were young. And whether they were too nice or too mean, it's likely that they had a big effect on your inner voice, for better or worse.

It's important to talk to kids in a deliberate way. If you're mad at them, you should be mad at what they did, not at who they are. Have compassion for your little people. Yes, she may have dropped the pitcher of tea on the floor, making it sticky with sugar, but that could happen to anyone, right? It's not a chance to break up with your child. Instead, this is a great time to talk about how to be careful. If your child makes a mistake, it's probably not the end of the world. Even if it is, it's not likely to be a reason to be mean (emotional or otherwise.) Don't forget, little people.

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