Words Matter

“Be mindful of the language you use to describe your children. They will come to see themselves through the filter you design.” – Lori Petro, TEACH Through Love 

Words are powerful. Words are especially powerful when said by parents to their children. The words we use to describe our children become a part of their self-concept and their behavior is based on their self-concept. Our actions have deep roots on what we think and how we perceive self. Self-concept has a big influence on our behavior. Behavior pattern decides actions. Stable or unstable self-concept, it is a motivating force in a person’s behavior…It is important at this moment to connect the influence of the words we use to call little ones as ‘dumb’, ‘stupid’, etc. We just casually call and forget, but those words have big impact on little minds. Some school children study below their capacities because they have learned at home and from other members of friend circle to think themselves as dumb. 

Children will have a much easier time valuing themselves if they are valued by their parents. Dorothy Briggs, the author of Your Child’s Self-Esteem, says that parents are like a mirror, creating the child’s self-image. We reflect to them who we think they are, and they take it in as the absolute truth. They are not critical of our evaluation of them until they get much older, when the damage is largely done.  

The way we ‘frame’ a situation, or a person, heavily influences our interactions. If we consistently see our children as frustrating impediments in that would otherwise be a well-ordered life, then every interaction with our children will be marred by that default view. Such a view promotes a deficit-orientation towards a family. It reduces motivation on the part of parents to help their ‘good-for-nothing’, ‘bratty’, ‘ungrateful’ children. And unsurprisingly, such approach is hardly inspiring for children. They feed off the negativity of parental perception and typically live up to precisely what is expected of them…which is not much.  

I understand we aren’t perfect parents, and sometimes something may slip off our tongues that we regret saying. In those instances, apologize and reaffirm to your child your love and belief in him. Positive parenting does not require us to be perfect, but it does require us to be mindful. Be mindful not only of the words you say, but of the thoughts you think. Reframe negative thoughts and purposefully look for and appreciate the positives in your children. Tell them how kind, capable, and wonderful you think they are. One of the greatest gifts you can give your child will never be found under the Christmas tree: A healthy self-concept.  

Reasons why Listening is Important for Your Child’s Growth

 

Young children are inquisitive and curious, we all know that. This is because they are blank slates. The world is still an amazing place for them, and they want to know more about it, about everything. 

In these formative years, children are limited in mobility and other sources of communication, as well as gaining information. So, they turn to the easiest way of gaining new information, listening. 

Let us gain in-depth understanding of how listening is essential in the growth ages, years 1-5, of every child. 

1. Listening Improves Concentration and Memory 

Listening is one of the prime senses of our body. Although visual memories are stronger, our body also retains auditory memories or echoic memories. It helps stabilize the mind and improves concentration. 

2. Improves Vocabulary 

As children grow older, their need to speak and communicate grows rapidly. However, this development is strongly rooted in the initial phase of their childhood. During this phase, listening plays an important role in developing their vocabulary and language processing. 

3. Adds Clarity to Communication and Thought 

This allows them to express themselves more clearly and understand what they want. The ability to communicate clearly and understand the reason strengthens the bond between children and parents. 

4.  Builds Confidence 

One aspect of listening is that it builds confidence. While listening seems like an ordinary thing, most of us listen to reply than to understand. 

Conscious listening decreases speech errors or response errors, thus improving confidence levels. Clarity of thought and concise, but perfect communication allows children to speak their mind. 

5. Improves Relationships 

Communication is the foundation for any relationship. Children with good vocabulary can speak openly with their adults. Their ability to understand reason helps parents to understand their children better as well. 

6. Optimal Method for Growth 

The most important factor of listening is that children between ages 2-4 have limited sources of gaining information and since they cannot read, they prefer listening. 

7. Enables Experiential Thinking 

One of the most important aspects of listening is that it triggers experiential learning. 

Audio plays a primary role in the beginning growth in children. Long before visuals start taking effect, audio plays a key role in developing the early experiences of children. 

Listening is a key-factor in children’s growth and empowers children in multiple ways to process information and interact with their surroundings better. 

 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog