How Do I Make You Feel?

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.

Mummy Times Two
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Absolutely Prabulous
My Random Musings


  1. Author

    Wonderful post, and great quotes. They are so very true. Peggy O’Mara’s really rings true for me. I recently wrote a post (Oh, The Quotes I Remember) and I see exactly how my unkind, unloving inner voice was shaped. I fought like hell and found the volume button. I learned how to manage it, and best of all, I then learned who owned the problem. We are two moms of two little girls and I am certain we don’t do everything right, but we try our damnedest so they never heard the things that I did. This is a gem of a post, and you are one great mama!

    1. Author

      Thanks Lisa. It felt a bit rambly but hopefully the emotions I was trying to get out got through. xx

  2. Author

    This is so true. It’s important we do our best to help children develop an inner voice that’s kind, positive and loving

    1. Author

      Thank you. How else are we to reverse the bullying epidemic in modern society.

  3. Author

    Love it. Words people say have a huge impact on our kids. The other thing that we have a huge issue issue is the affects of words on social media. This is playing a huge part of my boys lives at the moment, there are some positives, but the “banter” often turns to bullying, and worse. We have the motto if you can say something nice, don’t too. Xxx

  4. Author

    I really loved reading this post because it echos so many of the beliefs that I have and follow raising our children. I am so conscious of the words that I choose to use because I recognise the power of them and how they can build or destroy. It makes me smile, and sometimes frown when I hear my three year old using the same langauge we use in her volcabularly because she watches, listens and learns from us, so much more than we realise. Great post, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

  5. Author

    This is all so true, I want to set an example to my daughter to be kind. It reminds me of when a boy told me I was ugly when I was 5 or 6. I’d never thought about how I looked before, but I’ve had low self-esteem ever since. #PostsFromTheHeart

  6. Author

    I love this post so much. It’s the way I mummy and the way I teach. On my classroom wall I have written ‘It’s ok to mad but not to be mean’. My students learn that their is a difference. Children remember things for longer than we realise. Thank you so much for linking this post up to #PostsFromTheHeart

  7. Author

    This is a lovely post with important messages. I love the quotes especially if you don’t have anything nice to say be quiet. I also don’t use the word stupid I think it’s really mean. #marvmondays

  8. Author

    I agree with this so much – Alfie is only 20 months, but even now the way I speak to him, about him and in front of him is really important to me. I try not to be cross with him, and that also goes for his dad. If we want to bicker/fight/argue, I make sure we do it when Alfie isn’t around. Everyone fights and we say things we don’t mean in the heat of the moment, but I believe that we need to be more mindful of how we speak to people and in turn what that teaches are children. A very thought provoking post #DreamTeam

  9. Author

    #candidcuddles #marvmonday absolutely, feeling is our super power and it controls far more than material objects. You sound like one wise mumma x

  10. Author

    What a beautiful post. We actually have that Maya Angelou quote up in our office and it’s something that I try to always remember always. Thanks so much for sharing with the #DreamTeam x

  11. Author

    That Maya Angelou one has haunted me since the day I came across it. My temper makes me say the worst things to my kids and I know that quote should teach me a lesson. Feel free to never visit my blog again after that revelation! I absolutely LOVE the inner voice one. I just read that plus the paragraph about your husband’s uncle to my husband just now. So sad but beautifully expressed. Thanks for coming along to #candidcuddles

    1. Author

      I’m am very far from perfect so it’s more of an inspiration than reality of my life. I love your blog! X
      Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting.

  12. Author

    I believe that being kind is important. It’s also important to speak your truth to someone. . I’m not going to be kind when I tell a friend I question our friendship because she is dishonest. I’m kind to myself when I set a boundary. How I say it is what needs to be kind. Personally, I don’t believe people make you feel anything. It’s what we tell ourselves about what they say to us that causes our feelings. I taught 1st grade and the push and pull over power and powerlessness because they are taught that they cause someone’s feelings was frightening. I felt they were giving their power away if they believed someone else had the power to actually make them feel something. Honesty delivered respectfully was my moto….as was you can decide how you want to feel about what they said. They don’t make you feel anything….

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