I recently read a post about things not to say to your child. This struck a nerve with me for many reasons, mainly because I say some of these things to one of my kids everyday. While some I know I shouldn’t, it happens. We all know that words can hurt, and most of us are guilty for letting them slip while angry.
Instead of looking at the do nots, let’s give a look at what we should be saying to our toddlers everyday.
I Love You
Those three words mean the world to me. My husband says them, and I am reminded that we will survive this life thing together. My parents say them, and I regress back to being their child — not someone’s mother. My friends say them, and I am instantly thankful for having the support that I have in my life. Those three words can make a bad day turn happy. I want to instill in my toddlers the meaning of those words and to know that from the depths of my heart, I mean them.
Won’t NOT Can’t
That word. CAN’T. OMG, who taught my child this word? Everything seems to be “can’t” these days. “I can’t get in the car,” or “I can’t get my shoes.” I want my child to know that he CAN do anything, he is just choosing not to… so, it’s not that he can’t, it’s that he won’t. Let’s put more encouragement on the CAN do, and less on the I don’t even want to try.
I Forgive You
We are working on “sorry’s.” I once watched a video that encouraged parents not to push their kids to say they were sorry. I instantly turned it off and gave the screen the finger, and then told the screen that I was sorry. I feel like apologizing is something that everyone should learn, and on the flip side — everyone should learn forgiveness and grace. By saying “I forgive you,” and then hugging my child — I want them to know that it’s okay — we all make mistakes, we just have to own up to them.
Grace is something I have learned in the last decade and has been the most life-changing thing for me to understand. While I don’t expect my 2 and 3-year-old children to understand something that took me 25 years to learn, I do want to encourage it daily so maybe it won’t take them so long to understand.
Love. Encourage. Forgive. If we all could learn these things at a young age, I think this world would be a MUCH better place, don’t you think?
What words do you say daily to your children?