Do you ever remember being told you couldn’t do something that you had planned for? A dream? An intention? Something big? Something small?
Do you ever remember a time when the small words and actions of another hurt you or seemed to take away something that you had achieved?
Our memories are so precious and valuable, our memories make up a significant portion of who we are today and likely, who we will become tomorrow.
The developing and malleable mind of a child is that of a blooming flower. Needing the love of the sun and droplets of water from the sky.
Our children’s emotional well-being and successful development is hinged upon what we say, how we say it and the actions that accompany the words.
As parents, grandparents, carers, educators or friends we must uphold a language of rich acknowledgement.By using positively framed sentences we can support, guide and construct new meaning with our children.
Phrases such as,“I was excited when you…. I was amazed when you….”allow a child to feel pride in their actions and achievements.
Framing re-directing sentences as questions will help a child with a less desirable behaviour, for example a child throwing cushions around the living room might be asked “How can we build a place to read?”“Could you help me to put things back?”
Impact words from adults such as“stop”,“no”and “don’t”may often be seemingly ignored by a child but then later appear in their own language. I.e. Father suggests “let’s put on our pyjamas”, child replies “no”. If we frame and present our language very carefully, particularly in the Early Years, our children will learn to model and frame their own language in a positive and mindful manner.
Children will use language as a ‘powerful means of communication’ to understand the world around them and to access their life as it unfolds. This language becomes a fuel for their memories as it helps them take shape.
Use phrases rather than questions when you need something to happen ……“It’s time to put on our shoes.”
Re-inforce positive actions and contributions everywhere….for example your child has tried to clear the table after breakfast, but ends up spilling the milk….praise the help they gave “thank you for helping me to clear away, that was very thoughtful.”
Think about the values and skills you would like to support your family with and notice them verbally….i.e. Your child has put on their jumper by themselves, thank them for helping and remind them how ‘independent’they are.
If you have ever spoken harshly or abruptly, explain to your child that you made a mistake, that wasn’t a thoughtful way to speak and you will try to speak more carefully next time. Your child will learn a great deal from seeing that even a parent can make a mistake and learn from it.
Lastly and most importantly,
Find the wonder that is in the world around you and talk about it.
Talk about that little bird making a nest outside. Comment upon the butterfly that flew over the windshield. Be awe inspired and describe the miracles of engineering from our Dubai landscape. Share the joy of a new baby being born by talking about what they are learning each and every day, beginning to see clearly, beginning to recognise Mother and Father’s voice.
In a world that has many avenues of uncertainty, hope and joy is always there.
Find the wonder and talk.
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