Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Words Count

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 3:17 PM
I got my daughter to throw something away the other day. Now for many that may not seem like a feat, but for me it was. It was monumental because she didn’t throw a tantrum about putting something in the trash can. And even more amazingly it was an actual toy, not just some random piece of paper or dodad that we were getting rid of. Now I have to give a little background for this to make a little more sense.

My five-year-old gets very attached to things. I generally have to hide something for a week or more to see if she asks for it before I throw it away. If she finds anything in the trash that used to belong to her (whether it’s a broken toy, scrap piece of paper she colored a year ago, or an empty drink bottle she decided to “paint” one day) she’ll rescue it immediately. And to get her to get rid of anything is like pulling teeth. So, one this day I was amazed that she not only refrained from throwing a fit, but she also placed the offending item in the trash herself. What was the difference? The words I used.

The offending toy happened to be a person. The poor soldier had already lost an arm and a leg, and now he’d broken off his platform that made it possible for him to stand. So I told my daughter that I thought he’d had a rough enough time and that maybe we should bury him. And for some unknown reason it was okay since we were burying him instead of throwing him away.
As I continued my chores this minor little incident in our day got me to thinking. I know that word are powerful. I thrive on words. I enjoy reading and am passionate about writing. Words teach us, instruct us, entertain us, hurt us, and heal us. Often, however, I forget how powerful my words can be with my children.

We are very aware, for the most part, what we say to and around our children. There are certain words that are banned from our house. We try to teach our children the proper context to use words in and never shy from using $50 dollar words to stretch their understanding of their world. Even as careful as we are in what words we use and how we use them, we still sometimes slip up.

Much beyond this small incident that reminded me that the words I use can make changes in my children’s behavior, it reminded me the importance of being aware of words I use with my children that may impact how they view themselves, their world, and their God. We’ve all heard parents say things to their children in public that have made us cringe, but behind closed doors there’s no one holding us accountable except ourselves and the Holy Spirit (if we’re tuned into Him.) I’m grateful that I’ve had this reminder of the power and impact of words I use so that I can evaluate everything I say to my children to make sure that it is right, true, encouraging, and builds them up.

1 comments on "Words Count"

Anonymous said...

Great note Tracy! Thank you!
Angie

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Words Count

I got my daughter to throw something away the other day. Now for many that may not seem like a feat, but for me it was. It was monumental because she didn’t throw a tantrum about putting something in the trash can. And even more amazingly it was an actual toy, not just some random piece of paper or dodad that we were getting rid of. Now I have to give a little background for this to make a little more sense.

My five-year-old gets very attached to things. I generally have to hide something for a week or more to see if she asks for it before I throw it away. If she finds anything in the trash that used to belong to her (whether it’s a broken toy, scrap piece of paper she colored a year ago, or an empty drink bottle she decided to “paint” one day) she’ll rescue it immediately. And to get her to get rid of anything is like pulling teeth. So, one this day I was amazed that she not only refrained from throwing a fit, but she also placed the offending item in the trash herself. What was the difference? The words I used.

The offending toy happened to be a person. The poor soldier had already lost an arm and a leg, and now he’d broken off his platform that made it possible for him to stand. So I told my daughter that I thought he’d had a rough enough time and that maybe we should bury him. And for some unknown reason it was okay since we were burying him instead of throwing him away.
As I continued my chores this minor little incident in our day got me to thinking. I know that word are powerful. I thrive on words. I enjoy reading and am passionate about writing. Words teach us, instruct us, entertain us, hurt us, and heal us. Often, however, I forget how powerful my words can be with my children.

We are very aware, for the most part, what we say to and around our children. There are certain words that are banned from our house. We try to teach our children the proper context to use words in and never shy from using $50 dollar words to stretch their understanding of their world. Even as careful as we are in what words we use and how we use them, we still sometimes slip up.

Much beyond this small incident that reminded me that the words I use can make changes in my children’s behavior, it reminded me the importance of being aware of words I use with my children that may impact how they view themselves, their world, and their God. We’ve all heard parents say things to their children in public that have made us cringe, but behind closed doors there’s no one holding us accountable except ourselves and the Holy Spirit (if we’re tuned into Him.) I’m grateful that I’ve had this reminder of the power and impact of words I use so that I can evaluate everything I say to my children to make sure that it is right, true, encouraging, and builds them up.

1 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great note Tracy! Thank you!
Angie

 

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