While I was busy being nosy on Facebook, I came across a post that struck me:
“The WAY we talk to our CHILDREN becomes their inner voice.” By Peggy O’Mara
Surrounding this quote were statements such as:
- You can do it!
- You are the best!
- You are a star.
- That’s my champ!
- Awesome! Good job!
- Shut up!
- You’re such a mess.
- Stop bothering me!
After reading these statements, I thought about my inner voice. My parents always stressed to me the importance of an education. My dad definitely stressed that he wanted us to use our brains on the job and not out hands. So any job that required me to cook, clean, carry stuff was definitely out of the question. My mom told us, “Don’t let anyone take your joy or dream. Whatever you choose to do with your life, let it be your choice and no one else. Make sure the decisions you make are the ones you can live with.” During high school and college, my parents’ talks spoke to me often. I was going to graduate with honors. I was leaving college with a degree and a career that required me to use my brain. My parents’ talks encouraged me to excel. They believed in me which caused me to believe in myself. I do not recall my parents ever belittling us or telling us what we could not do. They wanted the best for us. They were our biggest cheerleaders, our biggest promoters.
These statements made me think about my children, our students, our future. The words we say to them is so impactful that they can build up a child or tear a child down. If I want a child to feel that he can succeed, I have to words that encourage him to succeed. Celebrating the child’s successes is one way to encourage the child to keep trying, to keep pushing onward. The words I use with children have to be words they hear when things get sticky, messy, rough. This post reminds me to be caution of the words I speak to our students, to make sure the words I speak leave a positive message in their minds, for their inner voice.