In the last couple of weeks I have really been hit over the head with this message: ‘Your words are powerful.’
My Bible study, the sermon at church, my devotionals – all have been on the significance of my words.
Of using what I say to build others up instead of tearing them down.
A timely reminder as I’m coming up on the one-year anniversary of writing for Douglas County Moms. I can’t hardly believe it’s been a whole year!
I’d actually be a little concerned to go back in the archives and see what I had to talk about a year ago; I barely remember where I was at a year ago, much less what I wrote.
Have I really come up with something to write about once a week for a whole year?
I know that at times I churn out some decent blogs for y’all and I know that at other times what I write is complete garbage, but as I sit here and consider all of the words that have poured out of me and onto my keyboard, the notion that my words matter is only reinforced.
And not only my words, but your words as well.
Everyone deserves their thoughts to be heard, their opinion to be made known.
Language is one of the tools that we as humans are privileged to have been given and combined with our ability to think critically, what we say can be powerful.
We can make people laugh, make people cry, make people happy or mad, we can spark discussions or we can shut them down—all with just the words we use.
As moms, this gift of language is even more powerful because we are the first voices our kids hear.
Our words help shape and mold them into the people they will become and because of that, it is both a privilege and a burden to carefully pick and choose the words we use when we talk to our kids.
For me, being beaten over the head with the message of the power of our words is timely, not only because it’s the year-mark of my blogging for Douglas County Moms, but also because I have recently become the mom to a whiney (really, really whiney) three year old.
Side note to you moms, in case you’re not there yet: the ‘terrible twos’ are a cake-walk; the ‘whiney-threes’ will make you want to rip.your.ears.off.
Now, maybe it’s just me and the fact that I have three other, younger kids to parent combined with my already extremely low tolerance for complaining, but when my three year old starts to whine, my head starts to throb.
And, I’m gonna be honest here, until I started being hounded with this message about the importance of my words, I would go off.
I didn’t really show any grace to my daughter and would often combat her whining with a raised voice and short, terse responses.
Shockingly, this did not go over well in her three-year-old brain and would, more often than not, cause more whining. Which would set me off even more…do you sense a cycle here?
So recently, armed with the almost-constant and daily reminder that my words carry significant weight, I have been trying to change my tactic.
Instead of snapping at my daughter for whining, I try to speak with her in calm tones.
Instead of telling her to suck it up and stop being a whiney pot, I try to lovingly explain (as best as I can to a three year old) why the whining needs to stop.
Because I don’t want what I say to her to be the reason my daughter shuts down or feels inadequate.
I want to use my words to build her up and help her grow in confidence, with the secure knowledge that what she thinks also matters.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that my change of heart has rubbed off on my daughter and she has stopped all whining. As a matter of a fact, it may have gotten worse. (And I’m told to expect this for the next 15 or so years. Oh, joy).
But I know that instead of responding to her whine with destructive words, I am now modeling for my daughter what is the appropriate way to talk to someone; to communicate with respect and to carefully consider your words before speaking, because our words are powerful.
the ‘whiney-threes’ will make you want to rip.your.ears.off.