the impact of my words

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee - Freedigitalphotos.net

“Just hurry up!”

I catch myself saying that a LOT lately. It seems I’m constantly telling my son to hurry up with eating, dressing, undressing, going outside, coming in… everything.

It hit me the other day:

Do I really want my kids to hurry up about EVERYTHING?

Is that the message I want them to come out of childhood with?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that I want them to do just the opposite.

I want them to slow down. To enjoy life. To cherish every moment.

And if I’m always telling them to hurry up, how will they ever learn to JUST. SLOW. DOWN.

The words I say have a huge impact on the way their little minds think, the way I speak to them becomes their inner voice to themselves.

Is ‘hurry up’ really what I want their default thought-line to be? Is that what I want them to tell themselves, subconsciously, for the rest of their lives?

No, I don’t.

While there are times that it’s necessary to do things quickly, I do not want to instill in my children the feeling that life is a race against time, like if they aren’t fast enough, they aren’t good enough.

Because the truth is: they are always good enough for me, no matter how quickly, or slowly, they accomplish things.

I will always love them.

If I want them to know that hurrying doesn’t make them any better, if I want them to slow down and enjoy life, then I need to change the way I speak to them.

If I’m trying myself to slow down every day, then I need to make my words match my actions, so they can learn to do the same.

It’s going to take some time to break this habit, but I believe it’s worth it.

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Enjoying Our Children

Photo by Andre Mouraux - Flickr Creative Commons

Photo by Andre Mouraux – Flickr Creative Commons

We all know how hard it can be to really enjoy spending time with our kids… and I mean REALLY enjoy it. We all have busy lives, with full-page to-do lists that we have to conquer every day, and when we force ourselves to spend some time with our precious little ones, it can seem like a chore. Every thing we’ve ever done with them has been boring, a challenge or has ended in tears, so why bother, right?

Wrong. Our children desperately need our attention and it’s our duty as a parent to give it to them, to invest in their emotional well-being just as we do their physical well-being. We need to feed them with our love every day and SHOW them (not just tell them) that they are special to us and we find joy in being their mother.

Here are 5 ways that can drastically change the relationship you have with your children.

1. Less screen time.

In our modern culture, we can easily waste hours every day in front of a screen doing nothing productive. According to sixwise.com, the average adult spends 162 minutes per day in front of a computer or engaged on their cellphone… that’s almost 3 hours. Now, if those screen hours are productive and wisely used, that’s not bad, but if most of it is wasted in mind-numbing web surfing or playing games, that’s 3 hours per day (or 19,656 hours before their 18th birthday) that could be spent investing in our children. We only have them for a short time (936 weeks from birth until they’re 18… I know, not a whole lot, is it?!) so take back those wasted hours and enjoy them while they’re still here.

2. Say “yes”.

This is a hard one, especially for those of us who prefer a clean home and clean children most of the time. But saying “yes” to the messy stuff will result in a ton of fun and lots of great memories for you and your kids to look back on. I know, at the moment of decision-making, we automatically want to say no to puddle-jumping, mud-pies, finger-painting and all the other messy things our kids want to do. But just saying “yes” sometimes can drastically improve our enjoyment in our children. And, hey, bathtubs were invented for a reason!

3. Fill your homes (and minds) with lots of quality literature.

You know those kid’s books that get boring after reading them only twice? Those aren’t quality children’s books. When you have some great, living literature on your bookshelf, you will find yourself in tears over a simple children’s story and be wanting to read to your kids every day. Believe me, I cry every time I read The Little House by Virginia Lee Murphy. My son looks at me a little confused, because even though it’s a story meant for kids his age and is very enjoyable and educational for him, there is a deeper meaning there that he doesn’t understand yet, but is being introduced to in a living, engaging way. For more information on what a living book is, click here. (And this can be useful in your personal reading selections as well. When we read living books, our minds are engaged and we learn and experience great things through our reading.)

4. Simplicity.

This applies to everything in life. But in regards to our children, over-complicating anything only creates more stress and less joy in their young lives. (Now, this does not, nor should it, always apply to answering their questions – more often than not, over-simplifying an answer to a question will not fill our child with the information he’s looking for. They are usually able to handle a lot more information than we give them credit for!) Rather, I’m talking about planned activities, clothing and food choices, decorating our homes, high-tech toys and gadgets, etc. In all of these areas, choosing simplicity over complexity is almost always better. They are usually much happier (and healthier) with less stuff, simpler homes and more time. And happier kids = happier mom!

5. Slow down… life is NOT an emergency.

Take a deep breath. So what if things take a bit longer than you want them to. Your kids are growing, learning, taking in the world around them and they are much smaller than we are. When we rush through life, we never really live. We are in the middle of our own wonderful story… why wouldn’t we try to slow down and breathe it all in while we’re still in this stage of our lives. We don’t have to hurry life up – it goes by fast enough on it’s own. So why not try our best to just slow it down?

 

If you’re new… head here to read about the purpose behind this blog (and perhaps a little bit of encouragement?)

From the Mother of a Down Syndrome Child

Photo by albastrica mititica – Click photo for original source

Deanna posted an outstanding article on Life As Mom recently. She has 2 children, one with Down Syndrome, and shares one important lesson she’s learned since she first became a mother. Through all the trials, she eventually learned one thng:

One day I put two and two together — sometimes it takes me a while — and realized that the reason why this was so hard wasn’t because I had a child with medical problems or an extremely needy and demanding son.

The problem is motherhood. It is hard – end of story.

Head over here to read her post in its entirety. It will give you a completely new perspective on motherhood.