Tuesday, August 20, 2013

What we don't say to our kids

Or, I should say, try not.

I think as parents, it is important that we stop and think about what we say to our children. Not just how we behave and act towards one another, but also what comes out of our mouths. Often times, we may not even realize that our children are listening. Or that they are taking it in. But trust me when I say this, they are.

I know I am guilty at times. I know that I should watch my tone, what I say, or how it may come across. I often times tell myself "you have time to correct yourself, do it now." So before my children have a grasp of memory and recalling things years down the road, I try to perfect myself. Although, who is perfect anyway?

So here is a short, general, and pretty obvious list of "rules" that we follow in our house. Not rules. General Understanding.

1. No negativity. No words such as "stupid" or "dumb." "fat," etc. About anything, including objects. We try to avoid negative words as a whole in our household. And we also try to censor what other people say that enter our home. We are quick to correct at every opportunity we can. Cursing is something we have had to monitor, and for the most part, do much better about it than we would have thought possible {seeing as how the two of us love to throw out a word here and there, prior to kids}. The problem is trying to get other people to follow through with that. Of course they are friends of ours, and have children as well and curse anyway, it's not our place to try to correct them. We just have to teach our kids what words can and cannot be said.

2. Saying Yes, more than "No." We have been working on this. It's a hard one actually, and not one that I believe we will ever truly master. In fact, not one that I think we should master. I'll talk about this more in depth on another day, but I don't think "no" is as negative as people make it out to be. If we ever say no or not allow something to be done, we try to follow that up with an explanation as to why and how we can divert that curiosity to something that is safer or appropriate at the time. Does that always happen? Absolutely not. But more often than not. There are times also that I have to remind Andrew {and myself} that you just have to let them be kids and let them do {crazy} stuff. Because they need to expel energy, they need to have fun, and they need to explore. We aren't into raising perfect children that sit still and obey. No, no, and no.

3. Not talking about their tantrums. We call it the "growing" stage instead. Andrew will often times call me and ask me how the kids are. More importantly, how E has been behaving. A lot of times, we are in the car and the bluetooth is on. So she can hear him asking. Even if she can't hear him asking, she can definitely hear my answer. Instead of saying, "rough day, she's been bad," or "lots of tantrums,"...I just reply, "she's been growing a lot today." He automatically understands. I do the same with my girlfriends that are moms. When they ask, especially around E, I explain how we have had some growing days. And immediately, we exchange a smile. And to be honest with you, something about saying it in that way makes me feel better. Reminds me that that's okay. Them, growing.

4. Talking bad about other people. Andrew and I have talked about how being positive and allowing our children to see and hear positive conversations about others around us is important. Again, not using those words listed above to describe anyone. Trying not to point out flaws in others, especially physically. In all, if we want to teach our children to respect and be kind to others, we need to show them that example.

5. Bad girl/Bad boy. Early on, we eliminated the word "bad" when talking about how they were acting. If E isn't listening or behaving properly, we avoid using the term "bad girl." These toddlers are not "bad" they are just learning. I never want her to think that we look down on her, instead I want to teach her the right ways.

6. Lastly, the number one for us, most important: what you say and how you act with your significant other. I tell Andrew this all the time. How important our relationship is on our children. How, the way we treat one another is going to set the foundation of what their view is on a relationship. A healthy, strong, forever relationship. I want my daughter to see how a man should treat a women. A son to see how his father treats his mother. My children to see what a true everlasting committment involves. Yes, I want them to see that marriage is not perfect, but at the same time, I want them to see the value in communication and respect.

You know, you never realize how important words are until you recall your own childhood. Thinking back about some things that my mom or dad may have said that have stuck with me. How my views and my own behavior and attitude may have been influenced by a part of my childhood.

How the way that you treat others has a bigger impact than we ever realize.


  1. Beautifully put, especially #6 - I wholeheartedly agree with you.

  2. Love this and totally agree with everything you said! We've tried to have a lot of the same rules. I also try to think about what if he repeated what we said to the person or said someone was fat in front of them. A man was standing behind us in line and had a few band aids on his face and Chase said boo boo? A couple times. That's about all the embarrassment I can handle!

  3. We do a lot of these same things. I cringe when I hear someone tell their kid they're being "bad" :/

  4. These are so good! We try do almost all of these with our daughter, too...it's crazy how much their growing brains can take in...often when we least expect it. My husband and I are very careful what is said around our almost 3 year old daughter. She knows the words we don't say and if she hears it elsewhere she will be the first to say, "Mommy, we don't say that word!" I definitely want to implement "she's growing a lot today" rather than say our daughter is being bad!! And I'm glad we're not the only ones NOT looking to just perfect raise kids that sit still and obey, but who can be kids!

  5. Love the one about "growing"! what a great way to describe it! You should write a book on parenting. Love your blog.!

  6. So true, we have a lot of the same rules in our family especially the negative words.

  7. Great post! As for #5 we ask our kids is that a "good choice" or a "bad choice" rather than saying the kid is being bad. We also use the saying, "stop, think and choose." I think it works and helps them learn about choices.

  8. All good points and all things that are sometimes tough to follow through. Good post!

  9. Great list! All things we follow as well! I would add on to your "talking bad about other people" and say especially family. Sometimes it's hard not to discuss family members with your husband when your kids are around, maybe your mom, dad, brother, in-laws did or said something that upset you and you feel like blasting them to your husband- unfortunately your kids hear that and know exactly who you are talking about. Not only to they know that you feel that way but they start to feel that way themselves. I think a lot of it boils down to think before you speak. :)

  10. And I love the growing term- taking that! :)


  11. wow i'm a mom to a one year old and a lot of this i never realized i did :( def going to start trying to not say these things. im a new follower and loving your blog so far. would love to swap buttons!

  12. I love the "growing" term. We've talked a lot about this lately too!


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