"Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you"... Couldn't be further from the truth. Words are powerful, words hurt, build up, make laws, inspire ideas, and solidify promises.
Words form children...and you
Even before we are born words are heard in our ears. As we grow, we learn to talk through listening to words. As mothers, our words are important. Not just what we say, but how was say...
God chose to use words to speak to us. Jesus, Himself, is called " The Word". Words are wonderful...
I grew up in a home that valued words. My parents word's meant something. When they told us not to do something "or else"...I knew they meant it. Whatever mom and dad told us, I simply believed because they are people of character and integrity. They lived out what they said and chose their words carefully.
As mothers, we have to do the same. We have to say less and follow through more. We need to give commands once and wait patiently for obedience. My personal guideline I follow when asking something of my children is:
Training our children to respond to asking once is the key to less yelling in your home. Children get trained to respond to yelling or repetitive asking and only respond when you raise your voice.
I was in the dentist chair a few months ago, the dentist is a mom of 2 boys. Although I couldn't respond because my mouth was open and full of instruments ( isn't that funny when that happens? ) She told me, " No matter what I do, I can't get my boys to listen unless I yell. Then, I am so angry at that point!" Later on after I could speak again, I told her, " your boys are so used to your yelling, you trained them to respond that way". We are training our children all the time whether it is intentional or not. Our actions and words are training them. That's why it is not true when parents say, " I am going to start training my children..."
You already are...
Reading to newborn babies may seem silly but research proves babies this young are already adsorbing words and feelings. Keep a few books around as your nurse your babies...read to them...talk to them.
I love having toddlers around my home. I have had at least one toddler in every season of my life for the last 14 years. Yes, they are a lot of work/training but so cute! They are learning all the time and pick up everything you SAY.
I attempt to keep my toddlers near me most of the time. ( Tomato staking...) Although I am not opposed to nurseries at church and an occasional babysitter, keeping your toddler next to you will give you the best chance to train them. Your words and actions will train them.
Vocabulary with young children
Don't talk down to them, talk up ( no baby talk )
Read books that offer a wide variety of new words
Gentle correction for mispronounced words, be kind!
Mother uses the correct word order and grammar all the time
At times, surprise them with new words! This is fun..."Sweetie, move with haste!"
Listen to audio books instead of watching television
As they grow, offer a words based education instead of image based ( Charlotte Mason Method)
Twaddle..what is is??
Twaddle is a word you hear a lot in Charlotte Mason circles.
“Grown-up people who are not mothers talk and think far more childishly than the child does in their efforts to approach his mind. If a child talk twaddle, it is because his elders are in the habit of talking twaddle to him; leave him to himself, and his remarks are wise and sensible so far as his small experience guides him. Mothers seldom talk down to their children; they are too intimate with the little people, and have, therefore, too much respect for them: but professional teachers, whether the writers of books or the givers of lessons, are too apt to present a single grain of pure knowledge in a whole gallon of talk, imposing upon the child the labour of discerning the grain and of extracting it from the worthless flood” (Vol. 1, p. 175). Charlotte Mason
Charlotte Mason said, " if children talk twaddle, it is because his elders are in the habit of talking twaddle to him". Twaddle is diluted language. Twaddle talks down to children. I'm sure you've heard it. A mother talking to their baby in abbreviated terms. One time I heard, " Do you want to go Ny Ny?" That is twaddle. Instead of saying, "Do you want to go to sleep?" We never underestimate the intelligence of our children. Remember our first rule in child rearing, " Children are born persons.." Charlotte Mason
We carefully select our read aloud books...
“They must grow up upon the best. There must never be a period in their lives when they are allowed to read or listen to twaddle or reading-made-easy. There is never a time when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well told” (Vol. 2, p. 263).
Mothers often have a hard time determining what type of books are twaddle. I did too. You can try using a one page test. Read one page of a book to your child and see how they react. Are they engaging? Does the book draw them in? Are there new vocabulary words encountered? Often, a "living book" is authored by one person that loves the topic they wrote about.
When I wrote The Enchanted Kindergarten, I sought out living books for Kindergarten children. I wanted them to encounter words they've never heard, and imagine what they are hearing. I looked for exciting language that would change their curious minds.
As mothers we must commit to:
Living disciplined lives and striving to control our own tongues
Remembering the rule of " Asking politely and waiting patiently"
Provide a garden of beautiful literature on a daily basis
Avoid talking down to our children and using baby talk
Engage in daily conversation with our babies, toddlers and children
Read to our children every day
I am here to help you along this path.. We walk a different road then most..but we walk together... I'm here for YOU!