I read something a couple of years ago that has stuck with me as I parent my children. It said that your praise or criticism becomes your child’s inner voice, also known as their self worth. When I’m angry or short tempered, when I’m impatient and exhausted, I try really hard to remember that saying.
I am participating in a writing challenge and this morning I looked at today’s writing prompt while I got ready and immediately thought about what shaped my self worth. There was a lot of negativity involved and even though I have had a lot of people encouraging me too, that’s not what I remember. That is not what I hear in my head when I doubt myself.
As an adult, I can let go of the judgment because I know most of the time it has more to do with that person than with me. And the comments from my adulthood, which can be even more insulting, do not effect me like those embedded deep within me from my childhood.
Ironically, today at church, our preacher spoke from James about the tongue and it’s power to curse or bless your life and those around you. He spoke about how your words are a reflection of your heart and can be healing or destructive. Again I thought of my children and how I am shaping their self worth, becoming the voice of their inner dialog. I always want that voice in their head to be positive, encouraging and full of blessings.
This lesson is true not just as parents but for our entire family dynamic, our marriages, or friendships, our careers and our lives in general. Imagine a world where we all use our words for good. Imagine the healing that would take place in our communities if our children were raised with positive self worth. It would change everything.
Words are game changers.