What Children Hear


 It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
~ Frederick Douglass

Minding my own business at the mall last week when I heard a young mother admonishing her child for not eating his lunch. The kid was about 18 months old. She was angry and frustrated. Her words were hurtful. I couldn't help but think who this child would eventually become. 

It bothered me. 
It still does.

Bonnie Harris M.S.Ed., author of "When Your Kid's Push Your Buttons" and "Confident Parents, Remarkable Kids" asks us to "take the risk of looking at your child as if you are looking in the mirror. and ask yourself:
  • What is my child's behavior showing me about myself?
  • What is the behavior trying to tell me?
  • What can my child teach me about myself?
  • How could I have said or done that differently?
I'm not an expert in parenting. I've never been a parent. Mr. Something and I just babysit a grandchild or two, every now and then. We look forward to an occasional afternoon with the little darlings.

During our time with them, we do nothing but cater to their every need, want and facial expression. It's all about happiness. Theirs and ours.

When the grandchildren come to visit, it begins with the greeting. We squeal, they squeal. We hug, they hug. We are so happy to see them! They are thrilled to see us! This high energy joy, lasts throughout their visit.

Mr. Something and I can play for hours with our grandchildren. That being said, I don't have to do it every day, I'm not doing it alone and I've had my coffee before they arrive.

Truth be told...they have been known to wear our asses out.
According to Psychologist, Nathaniel Branden...
  • Be careful what you say to your children. They may agree with you.
  • Use language that you would like your children to use with you.
  • Do not use sarcasm in your language with children.
Maya Angelou was once on Oprah and spoke of the strong link between grandparent/grandchild. According to Maya, it's all about "the greeting".

Early on in life, the grandchild is frequently greeted by the grandparent with pure joy and excitement. This experience becomes ingrained into the child's psyche. Maya continues by asking ... if the child was greeted by the parent with the same degree of enthusiasm, how might the parent/child dynamic might improve?

Food for thought.

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Unknown said...

Joan this is so true! So interesting and makes me think about how I speak to my kiddos when they drive me nutts.