We say hundreds of thousands of words a day, without much thought going into many of them. We talk to our dogs, our parents, our friends, our children…if you are like me, you may even talk to yourself as well.
If you are also like me, and you have a 3 year old in the house, you may find yourself talking MUCH more than ever before. Usually, repeating yourself over, and over, and over, and…..over again. I actually have to repeat everything Lula says. That is her way of guaranteeing that I heard her.
“Mommy! Look! It’s a garbage truck!”
I see, honey.
“LOOK! MOM! GARBAGE TRUCK!!!”
Wow! I see it! That’s great honey.
“MOMMMMMMMMMMMY! DO YOU SEE THE GARBAGE TRUCK?!?!?!”
Lula, look! It is a garbage truck!
See, I didn’t repeat it exactly like she said it. So it goes on and on until I catch on.
This morning on the way to work, she saw an ambulance with sirens speed past us. The questions came pouring in.
“MOM! WHAT WAS THAT?!”
That is an ambulance. Someone was hurt or sick and needed a fast ride to the doctor.
“Next time I get hurt, can I ride in an ambulance?”
Well, you only ride in an ambulance if you are really, really hurt or sick and Mommy or Daddy can’t drive you fast enough. We don’t want that to happen.
“Yes. Yes I do. Is the ambulance a boy or a girl?”
The ambulance is a vehicle. The people inside are boys or girls. Or both. It doesn’t matter.
“It does matter. I want both. Are they happy people?”
This went on and on and on until we got to work and then she proceeded to tell my mom everything she knows about ambulances.
I find myself annoyed at times by all the round and round talking. I do know she is learning. I am amazed at how much she knows and how she can remember every single little thing that is said to her. And then I start to think…
she remembers every.single.little.thing…oh shit.
Ryan and I were at Story Time a few weeks ago with the girls and this mom behind us had two little ones, a boy and a girl. They weren’t doing anything particularly inappropriate, the boy had a hard time sitting still. We kept hearing the mom say,
“GET OVER HERE! STOP being such little BRATS!”
“You two are being SO BAD.”
“WHY do I have such nasty BRATS as kids?!”
I am just thinking outside the box here, but perhaps…just MAYBE…they were “acting like brats” because she kept telling them over and over that they indeed, were brats? I don’t know. I’m no expert. I do know that me telling her that she was being a complete asshole wouldn’t have helped either.
I don’t call my girls brats, but it got me thinking even more…I need to be sure to tell my girls over and over how awesomely awesome they are. Maybe if I tell them enough, they will believe it themselves. All the times Lula masters something new at the playground, I need to tell her how strong she is. How brave. How she can do anything she puts her mind to.
Every time Olive says new words, throws things in the trash, is sweet to her baby dolls…I need to tell her how smart, helpful, and kind she is.
Words can be meaningless. They can. We spew out thousands of meaningless words a day. Words can also be incredibly powerful. It is important to make them count with our kids. Think before we react. Talk to them the same way we would like to be talked to. Empower them. Respect them. Listen to their words.
My dear friend Maddie agrees with me on this. She was tired of all the clothes for kids covered in silly phrases or words…the kids have no clue what it says on them. We’ve even seen parents dress their kids in clothes plastered with their particular political agendas. Silliness.
Maddie decided to start making shirts for our kiddos that have empowering, positive words on them. Words that they can use to describe themselves…so Rad Little People was born.
Lula has a “Powerful” shirt, and we got to talk about what it means to be powerful, and all the things that make her so powerful. She came over to my parent’s house and my dad said,
Lula! What does your shirt say?!
What does powerful mean?
“It means I am strong and brave and can do anything!”
What an awesome conversation to have with a child.
You can customize the shirts with words of your choice, or pick from her selections. The shirts are adorable and what I love the most is that they are gender neutral. Teaching my girls that there is no such thing as “girl” clothes or “boy” clothes is very important to me as well.
Maddie takes a lot of pride in her work and it shows in the quality of the shirts. TWW couldn’t be happier to have “Rad Little People” as a sponsor. Take some time to check out her Etsy shop and if you would like to make a purchase, TWW’s promo code is “FRIENDPASS“…and you’ll get FREE shipping!
What kinds of positive words would you use to describe your children?