”Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
That is probably the most common chant on any school playground. And it’s a big lie. Words probably hurt more than any physical wound ever could. Because they live on in our hearts. We end up becoming what it is that was said about us. That is why words are so critical to who we believe we are.
As a parent, my words can even be more critical. What I choose to say to my children can make or break their spirit. It can be especially tough when we are angry, frustrated, or showing a lack of patience on an issue that we have dealt with repeatedly. We are human and we vent – yes? We just need to be so careful in how, when, and where we do that venting. Especially when it comes out in our words.
I don’t ever want to be the source of a broken spirit in my child. And I’ll be honest with you. My own heart breaks at the thoughts and memories I carry with me of the times that I “lost it” and said something that I regretted. Oh – how I wish I could take those moments back and handle them with more grace, love, and mercy! But I can’t. I can only vow to try harder now and next time, and the next time. I can choose to keep trying until I get it right.
I want my words to encourage, heal, and love. Sometimes I want my words to make a point, or move to action. But I always want them to help my child move in a positive direction. I realize there will be times when the most important and powerful words I can choose to use will be none at all! I will need to bite my tongue. That is tough. But I want to give my children the space they need to come to me when they need to, when they choose to. I want to let them know that I realize they don’t always need my opinion on everything. (As hard as that may be for me to swallow!)
I think a mom has the most powerful role in the world. How we choose to use our words in heated moments, in frustrated, or teachable moments – is a life-forming thing. Let’s not forget that.
~ Dionna Sanchez
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