Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Power of Words

"The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice." ~ Peggy O'Mara

Rowan is learning by leaps and bounds. Every day, he says a handful of new words that I have never heard him say before. Just yesterday, he came up with "money". I have NEVER told him what money is, nor have I given him any. He picked that term up by watching mama and daddy, evidently. The funny thing is, he is a modern baby- he thinks his library card (indeed, all plastic cards) are "money".

Now that we live with two other adults (Rowan's Nanny and Pap Pap), Rowan is being exposed to all kinds of language and ideas that he would not be if he was living with just mama and daddy. Some of that is good, some is not so great. I don't like the slips of tongue that call him "bad" when he acts out, for example. We are slowly educating my partner's parents on how we want to raise Rowan and getting them on board. We don't believe in using language that talks about permanent states of being. He is not bad, he is acting out. Hard work, this.

Running to brush the goat.
So far, things are comfortable here. Nanny and Pap Pap are delighted to spend time with their grandson and he loves them like crazy. When they are gone at work, he is constantly saying their names and asking when he can have "more" of them. when Nanny came home from work this evening, Rowan did a hilarious welcome home dance, chanting her name as he went.

When Rowan is being difficult (as all toddlers can be at one time or another), I have to carefully watch my tongue (and the tongues of others in the house). I can hear some of the phrases and words that I grew up with welling up in me- ones that I found hurtful and do not wish to pass along to Rowan. So I must check myself. We play and distract instead of restrain and say no. We ask questions rather than demanding compliance. In short, we treat Rowan like a human being worthy of respect.

Gentle. We are gentle with him, to model it and
because it is what he deserves.
And I think it is paying off. While sometimes he gets overstimulated and hits- he knows about being gentle is it is his default mode 99% of the time. Don't get me wrong- he is a wild spirited child- but he also is an affectionate one that expresses his love to all he meets. He is so good with animals and babies. He makes me beam with pride.

"Before you speak, ask yourself: is it kind, is it true, is it necessary,
does it improve upon the silence?" - Sai Baba of Shirdi

I am working on myself in order to be the best parent I can be. That means thinking before I speak.


  1. Amen. Best of luck, you will get all you want.

  2. This is such a true post - words do have power. When a young child acts out, it isn't from a desire to misbehave, but out of frustration (emotions they can't control, situations they can't control, you name it!).

    It's great that you are educating his grandparents on the kind of upbringing you want to provide, and asking them to be a part of it. ^.^

  3. Thanks everyone. Hard work, but worth it!


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