During my years of observation, I have noticed there is a stark difference in the disposition of children who are affirmed of their value and significance, to those who are made to seek this out for themselves. This longing is often visible as the child transitions from childhood to adulthood, in the manner in which they conduct themselves and their forming of relationships with partners, friends and associates.
There’s an internal confidence that exudes those affirmed as children, unbeknownst to others who are yet to discover their self-worth. There is something special, almost like a constant ‘spring in the step’ of children who know their value, that they are loved and appreciated, for being just who they are. There is a joy about their presence.
I have always been fascinated by child psychology and observing child development. This, I believe, is particularly due to my own challenging upbringing and being a child who absorbed a great deal of my surroundings, both good and bad. I noticed patterns and trends early on, as I navigated my little life. I could see the difference in those whose parents affirmed their children and my own life, where affirmation was scarce.
These observations and my deliberations, led me to see little people as more than precious. Too valuable for words... So being given what I can only describe as a divine privilege to raise children, implementing these truths could not present a greater opportunity to bring my parenting passions to life!
So... The Power of Words... What does this mean?
For me, it means using my words to intentionally instil confidence in my son, taking every possible opportunity to encourage his efforts; be it in drawing, painting, his musical talents, or agility. But also to give him the space to express his creativity and personality via messy play, making noise, dancing, and giving him much needed undivided attention to discuss his thoughts and ideas.
However, probably more importantly for me, is my son hearing the frequent words of, ‘I love you’, ‘you’re amazing’, ‘you’re handsome’... all of these positive affirmations which, as he grows older, he may become curious about. For me, it’s essential that he knows this without a shadow of doubt and is not led to search this out for himself but only to build upon his strong foundation.
My son will often say, ‘Mummy, why do you love me so much?’ This for me, is evidence, that he knows how much he is loved and is probably a little baffled to the extent of how much love is bestowed upon him. But it is my opinion that, you can never be too loved. However, what will happen is, he too will pour out this affection on others, which we already see happening by his infectious love for people.
So let’s build our children by choosing the words we speak into their lives; let’s empower them to be confident, powerful and loving individuals. To be the great people they have been brought into this world to be. You can start with the indelible power of your words.
There’s so much I could share on this subject including psychological research, but I’ll save that for a another blog.
Let's embrace the moment.
The 5 Love Languages of Children by Garry Chapman and Ross Campbell