Welcome to the Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival: Week #7-Watch Your Language
This post was written for inclusion in the 10 Week Peaceful Parenting Challenge Blog Carnival hosted by Prenatal to Parenting. This week our participants have written about using positive language with others. We hope you enjoy this week’s posts and consider joining us next week when we share about a week of unplugging.
Language and the way we use it is a very powerful thing. It’s something I’m very cautious about and bringing my awareness to it this week for the parenting challenge has shown me a few areas that I can improve, but also where I’m doing really well.
I read a couple of really interesting articles earlier this year. They both talked about why you shouldn’t tell your kids that they are smart. It made me pause and re-examine some of the way I talked to my kids. It also reinforced some of the language that my parents used with me growing up.
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people praise kids with “Good girl” or “Good boy” when they do something they were asked to do. The reason… because it implies that if they hadn’t done as you asked, they would be “bad”. For instance, Ella helped to set the table the other day, so the praise I gave her was, “Thank you for setting the table for me, that was very helpful. You did a great job!” It would have been easier to say something like, “Thank you, you’re such a good girl”, but that doesn’t really tell her why I appreciated her efforts or give her any incentive for doing it again. This is something I learned from my parents growing up, they rarely praised us, but they always praised our efforts. It really helped me to develop a good sense of myself and how good I was at doing certain things. It made me feel like I had control over things around me and that no matter what I did, I was always loved. This is definitely something that was reinforced when I read the articles I mentioned above.
This week, where I found I needed to work on things was with Tehya. She’s not quite 2 and very much at that point in her development where she’s challenging me on everything and trying to figure out where the boundaries are. I worked hard on remembering to ask her specifically for what I WANTED her to do, instead of telling her to STOP doing something. It was simple things like asking her to “Please sit down on your bum in your chair” instead of “Don’t stand on the chair” or “Please use your words to tell mommy what you want” instead of “Please don’t yell at mommy” It was surprising to me how often she followed the positive requests quickly but rarely did what I needed her to do when I phrased it the other way. I’m still trying to figure out positive phrasing for all the things she does, like colouring on walls… but we’re getting there.
Overall, I felt this week was a great refresher for me. Our words and our thoughts have the power to change our world and the outcomes we see in it. As a parent, I feel that the most important thing I can do is model positive behaviour for my girls. To teach them to be strong and confident in their abilities. To remind them that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to and that they hard workers. Building them up now is far easier than trying to do it later 🙂
How did your week go? I’d love to hear from you!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
Tips for making the Positive Comments outweigh the negative in your child’s day – Sarah from Prenatal to Parenting shares a startling stat and asks for your help in changing the numbers.
Language and Distractions- Peaceful Parenting Challenge: Week 7 -Kathryn from Curiosity and the Kat is a bit distracted.