A Way With Words

Tommy Mommy extraordinaire Sami Cone is back on the blog today to share with you! Sami works closely with the Tommy Team in helping enable the Tommy Mommyies to spread the word about Tommy Nelson. She has two kids of her own, and lots of great stories about them, too! You can check out her blog here and follow her on Twitter here!

A Way With Words

I often say I wish I could freeze my children.

There’s just something so sweet about how little ones talk when they’re learning a language. Their tone, inflections and pronunciations tickle me.

When my two kids were still in a crib, I often found myself videotaping their baby monitor. They’d wake up from sleeping and just sit in their crib talking to themselves for what seemed like hours at a time. I didn’t dare go in and disturb them (Parenting Rule #1 – Never bother a content child), but I just knew that those voices would eventually change. I never wanted to forget those sweet words like “Gella gella” (Cinderella…or in some cases, gorilla) or “Dadoo” (her word for ‘Softy’, her favorite sleeping toy).

“Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24

Just as those words can bring joy, as our children age, their sweet voices can turn into whining, nagging and a never-ending barrage of questions. Instead of taping them with a camcorder, you may find yourself hiding from them in the bathroom!

It seems that instead of trying to instill that same sweetness in our own speech to inspire them, we take cues from their behavior and allow our own words to become peppered with negativity, shame and guilt. I know I don’t respond well to these attributes, so why do I expect my kids to change their behavior when I berate them with my words?

I understand it can be difficult to remain calm, cool and collected throughout our entire parenting journey. But if you stop long enough to respond instead of react to your child, your words of affirmation will fill them up in a way nothing else you give them ever could.

Consider this:
*Have you ever stopped to listen to how your voice sounds when you correct your kids?
*Do you notice your kids whining and complaining a lot?
*Do you praise them for their good behavior as much as you discipline them for bad behavior?