Sunday, September 09, 2007

Think before you speak

During a conversation today about something traumatic that Cassie had experienced recently, it twigged something in me and brought back a memory that I had long since buried, or at least thought I had. The experience happened when I was sixteen and I have never told a living soul about it until today. While I was describing what happened to Cassie I realized that I was starting to feel very sad and even started to cry. It was as if I was reliving the experience all over again and my body was reacting the same way it did almost 30 years ago. Obviously it was hard wired into my psyche and retelling the story brought back not only the memory in vivid detail but also the pain.

Think about this when it comes to your children and how something you can say without thinking can be taken to heart and cause irreparable damage to a small child's self esteem. It can be the start of a seed that is planted and it may grow and fester in your child for years to come, maybe even into their adulthood like my experience did for me.

We may not always be able to protect our child from other people who choose to berate them and whittle down their fragile ego but we can help them to build up a suit of protective armor to help weather the storm of childhood. You have the power as a parent to help instill confidence by the words you choose. Think before you speak to your child or teen and if you happen to say something out of anger, remember nobody is perfect and we all things we wish we could take back. You may not be able to take it back but you can make sure that your child doesn't take it to heart by apologizing and explaining that what you said was spoken out of anger and you are very sorry you said it and you really didn't mean it. You can tell them that you don't like the behavior they chose and that is what caused you to get mad, but you still love them and always will no matter what!! Every child needs to hear those words, so take the time to say it. Don't let your pride get in the way and ruin your chance to change something that in a split second can make a world of difference to how your child learns to feel about himself.

Happy Parenting


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