One of things I am trying to constantly remind my girls when they have one of their little fights is the power of their words. If they say nasty and unkind things to each other, how does that make their sister feel? If she said those words back, how would it make you feel?
They are young, they don’t always get it, but hopefully if I repeat myself enough eventually it will sink in.
My favourite quote from Maya Angelou is this:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
One that a lot of us have also heard before but it’s also relevant is the one by Peggy O’Mara:
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
The power of words is far greater than most people realise. With a few simple words you can raise someone up to the highest height imaginable. On the flip side, with even fewer words you can completely destroy a person and render them helpless and hopeless with long-lasting effects.
I know I yell and scream at my kids often, but I always try to be careful with the words I use. One word in particular that I don’t like is the word ‘stupid’. My kids actually think that it is a swear word, and if someone uses it in front of them they come and whisper to me “Mommy, he said a bad word!” That’s the way I want it.
Another one I always tell them is this: “If you have nothing nice to say, just be quiet.”
This quote appeared in my diary today too, by Cesare Pavese:
“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”
My husband lost his uncle last week. A man who he admired, respected and loved. A man who treated him like a son and made him feel loved both as a child and as an adult; someone who, I believe, taught him how to be a man without having to manipulate, control and decimate the will of your family; doing so only with kindness, respect and gentleness.
The quality of the time you spend with people is far more important the counting the minutes, hours and days. One day there will be no more time, but the quality of feelings, emotion and memories will be far more valuable when time runs out.
Our children are watching us and listening to us, and will one day emulate us. Let’s all try to be worthy of that, and teach them how to be kind, gentle, honorable people worth spending time with and worth making memories with.