I constantly think about the importance of the words we speak to our children. They should be encouraging words, uplifting words, words of healing - speaking words of life. Because of the way my father was to me, my parenting was way at the other end of the spectrum. I wouldn't let anyone tell Tara she was bad; instead I told her that she made the wrong decision and redirected her. When I disciplined her, I hugged her afterwards and told her I loved her and I knew
she would make better decisions next time.
“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” –Mother Teresa
There are many elements that are found in happy homes, and one that is common is "speaking words of encouragement." Children thrive on encouragement, and by consistently speaking words of encouragement, we as parents can shape our children's lives in a positive way.
When we encourage our children, we give them courage to 'win in life.' We build up their self-esteem and self-worth, and strengthen them for the next challenge in life that they will face. Children that are encouraged by their parents are far more confident as they go through life.
My earliest memory as a child was my father telling me not to speak because I had nothing important to say.
He constantly told me I would never amount to anything. I spent so many years trying to be good enough for him.
Thank God I had a mother who always told me I could do anything, and believed in me. Because at the age of 35, my father was still telling me I was nothing. When you grow up feeling not loved or not good enough for your father, it makes you wonder, "How can my heavenly father possibly love me?" Fathers have such a huge responsibility to their children, to be encouraging, uplifting and supportive.
At the age of 39, the last time I saw him, as I was driving away from his house I started to cry knowing it was the last time I would see him. It was no longer about me being good enough for him, it was that he wasn't good enough for me - because I was somebody and I was important. It wasn't about what I had achieved or where I had been. It was because of whose I am. And no one will ever take that from me again.
None of us are perfect. We all have days where it seems impossible to be understanding, days where it seems impossible to not discipline our children out of anger. But when you do blow it, give your child a huge hug, and tell them you are sorry. Regroup and handle the situation out of love. Choose to speak life not death to your children.