Imagine that you are about to build a beautiful garden in your backyard. You will probably take extra time to select the seeds you are going to plant, right? You will carefully weigh all the options to make sure the soil is right for the plants you have chosen, that neither of them is going to be a health hazard and you will end up enjoying the sight of each one thoroughly etc. What if we tell you that your words are as powerful and important as the seeds for your garden and that you have the capacity to determine your children’s future simply by feeding their minds with proper words?
Each interaction with a child is an opportunity to plant “seeds” of knowledge, thinking and curiosity, which you get to nurture and observe as they grow and develop into something powerful.
And how exactly do words affect our children?
Each one of us inculcates thoughts—intentionally or without knowing. These thoughts become an integral part of our minds and end up determining our actions, our attitudes, the level of our motivation and more.
Certain statements actually empower our children and serve as a powerful catalyst for growth. Here are a few examples:
- “You’ve done a great job! Well done!”
- “Thank you for helping me.”
- “Don’t worry about it. Everyone makes mistakes.”
Words like this encourage children to have faith in themselves and to maintain a positive outlook and a strong sense of self. They demonstrate the power of lending a helping hand to another and the importance of trying to achieve one’s goals. Most importantly, they teach our kids how to deal with failure—that errors and blunder are not the end of the world.
Kids are often “hypnotized” by their parents, without the latter even realizing. As they go and on and on with the same words and phrases, they end up leading their children to adopting them as truths and turning them into reality.
We’ve all witnessed the types of comments from parents that end up crushing their kids, instilling unfounded fears or suppressing their true selves. Here are a few examples:
- “Don’t climb over that, you’ll end up slipping. I won’t be able to catch you and you’ll end up with a fracture.”
- “You must become a finance professional. It would be a shame to waste your abilities on music.”
- “Do your homework! Otherwise, you won’t be able to graduate or get a job afterwards. Nobody needs a person without a degree.”
Simply by saying something negative (e.g.: “You’re a hopeless case” or “You’re lazy”), parents end up jeopardizing their children’s confidence and sense of self. Statements like this resemble those tiny seeds that grow into a pessimistic attitude and lack of self-esteem.
Isn’t the very thought of being able to convince your child that they won’t be able to achieve something really scary? Probably, yes.
How to channel the power of words in favor of our children
Faith is a powerful thing for anyone, regardless of age. Words are particularly powerful when it comes to children, and it is important to praise and support them consistently.
It is much easier to believe in yourself when another has faith in you. If a kid says, “I can’t do it”, emphasize the fact that you believe in them and that you’re going to stick around to support them. Make sure you repeat to them that success is inconsequential and that the little victories are what really matters.
You must always praise the kid for their effort, even if the results are far from what was expected. This way, you end up fueling their love for learning and instilling the belief that positive feedback may follow each attempt, rather than a perfect outcome only. Show them that you appreciate their resilience and determination to achieve the goal. As a result, you will empower their growth mindset and motivate them to tackle the many challenges they get to face in the future.
You may choose to write your empowering statements on colorful sheets of paper and store them all over their room. This way, they will be constantly reminded of their strength and resilience.
Your words have the capacity to encourage a number of good habits
You have the capacity to encourage a number of useful habits by simply choosing the right words. You can teach them how to love their bodies, exercise, eat healthy and engage in self-care.
The right words will allow you to raise a kid that is compassionate and sensitive towards other people and the world at large.
Of course, none of this is easy—particularly when you don’t get to reap the benefits right away. It takes time, patience, hard work and ample energy to grow a garden. Even grown-ups need positive “seeds”. That’s why you should try to be easy on yourself as well—more sensitive, more forgiving.
Remember, you reap what you sow.