Our Words and Their Impact

Our words can be so powerful. Whether they be negative or positive, our words can have a huge impact on the people we speak to. I love how comedians can use their words to make people laugh. It’s incredible how the power of these words that make us laugh can lift up our spirits.

Have you ever heard the saying “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me?” I believe this is one of the biggest lies that has ever been created. Words do break people and words do build people. They can set people up for failure or set people up for success. As parents we have to be conscious of what we’re saying around our children. We need to have those times with our family where there’s straight out laughter and time to be silly with our words. We also need to have time with our family when we’re using our words really deliberately to help process fears or express thankfulness.

It’s important to choose carefully who we listen to and where we get our words and information from. With COVID-19 daily changes and updates we’re all watching the news more frequently than we normally would. Like everyone else I was also watching more frequently and I found that it was having an effect on me. The negativity of it all was beginning to make me feel a bit flat. Now of course it’s important to stay informed, especially during our current circumstances, but we have to be careful how we let this information affect us.

In everyday life we need to choose who we do and don’t listen to. That’s not to say we’re being snobbish. It’s okay to listen to negativity, to hear people out and perhaps help them work through whatever they’re feeling or going through. But, it’s important to remember not to dwell in that negative space. We’re all the same. We all have moments of fear or negativity, where we need a positive person to lift up our spirits. Sometimes we need others to be positive for us and other times we need to be that positive person.

As parents Rob and I were very conscious of the power of the spoken word when raising our children. Though we are all human and sometimes we would get tired or frustrated and not use our words in the most positive way. What Rob and I really tried to do was stop and think about the words that we were saying to and speaking over our children. A practical way this can be seen is through nicknames. When we were giving our children nicknames or labeled something that they did (their talents), we made sure these were positive.

As parents we are able to see our children’s weaknesses but it’s important to remember every weakness has a strength behind it. Someone who may be labelled as a worrier can be a very methodical thinker, someone who plans out every detail and is always thinking ahead. As parents we need to look beyond weakness, find the hidden strength and be encouraging of it. If we point out the flaws in our children that is all that they will see.

Whatever we’re thinking about or dwelling on, that is the direction our words will take. But, you don’t always have to say what you’re feeling. When you stop and think about your words and the impact of them you can still choose your words. I’m not saying that this is easy, it takes a lot of practice and you’re not always going to get it right. When you really think about it and come to realise and understand the power and impact of your words it helps you to choose differently.

My son Ben asked me what my overall encouragement would be to give to parents when thinking about their words. `So here it is.

It’s important to really think about and fully understand how powerful our words and their impact can be. The power that they have on people physically and emotionally. If you can understand that and realise that you obtain that power, the power to build your children up or tear them down you will begin to choose your words much more carefully.