Saturday, October 19, 2013

6 Words You Should Say Today

The title of this post is the title of an article written in the Huffington Post by Rachel Macy Stafford.  I came across this article several months back, but over the weekend a friend sent the article to my inbox and brought it to the forefront of my mind once again.  This tells me that the article touches home with parents, and, since it includes such wonderful and simple advice, I wanted to pass it on.

Rachel Macy Stafford starts out her article by writing, "Very rarely does one sentence have immediate impact on me.  Very rarely does one sentence change the way I interact with my family.  But this one did."  To be honest, it did the same for me.  The first time I read this article, its premise stuck.  And I'm happy to admit that this language continues to find its way into my parenting.

For RMS, the words that changed it all were, "... college athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response: 'I love to watch you play.'"

As she references in her article, the life-changing sentence came at the beginning of an article entitled, "What Makes a Nightmare Sports Parent and What Makes a Great One," which described powerful insights gathered over three decades by Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller of Proactive Coaching LLC.

I think about these six simple words a lot, and I find myself saying versions of them often to Esme and Reid: "I love watching you and your brother play together"..."I love hearing you laugh"..."I love seeing you smile."
One of Esme's creations- "I love watching you paint!"

Case in point: The other day we were driving back from a wedding (and on the final leg of a weekend during which we logged many miles in the car).  At one point, Reid started making an impressive screeching/grunting noise that we categorized as singing.

We were listening to a new CD at the time, and it wasn't long before Esme joined in with a melody of her own.  To some, the noise in our car might have induced a headache.  But at that moment in time, all Thomas and I could do was laugh.  "I love hearing you sing!" I told our kiddos.  And I meant it.  But framing the situation in this way also had another benefit: It made me see the situation as a moment of joy rather than one of chaos, which is something I sometimes need to be reminded of.

Giving affirmations like this fits with my parenting style because I try to compliment their effort when doing something rather than the end result.  I also try to acknowledge and give praise for the behaviors I like to see rather than always focus on the ones I'd like to curb.  After all, as it's been said, "What gets attention gets repeated."

If you are a parent, grandparent, godparent, aunt, uncle, or mentor to a young person, I encourage you to read this article and put these six simple yet profound words into practice.  Doing so requires little effort yet has the potential to make a big impact on those who will hear them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging tips