Sticks and Stones
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. We have all heard this rhyme growing up, and although it sounds kind of cute, it’s really not true at all! As you have probably discovered, words do hurt, and, in fact, they can leave life long wounds and scars. The opposite of hurtful words, however, are words that inspire, encourage, and bring life to others. Help your children understand the power of words as you coach them to choose to speak life. Ask them the following questions to stimulate conversation on this important topic:
What one word spoken to you has hurt you?
Listen to your children tell the story of when this happened and who said it to them. Help them find forgiveness for the one who hurt them by encouraging with the truth of who they are — beautiful, smart, and gifted.
What one word would bring a smile to another person?
Listen to how they talk differently about a positive word as opposed to a hurtful word. Help them understand how positive encouraging words change people and how we play a important role with our family and our friends to encourage those around us. Your children have the power to make the difference in someone’s day with just one word!
Do you feel like you are encouraged by others?
We are all wired to need positive words spoken to us. Ask them if they can find positive ways to encourage others with words, and give them examples on how they can apply this to everyday life. Just as they enjoy being encouraged, it is important that they encourage others.
As parents, it is important that we speak words of life and encouragement to our children. Studies show that the choice of words spoken to our children will have a great impact on the person they become and how they feel about themselves. Catch them doing things right and praise them as often as you can. You are the game changer in their life. Be intentional.