As a first time parent you are anxious for your child’s first word.
Will it be mumma? Will it be dadda? (It was dadda for both of mine)
What you don’t realise in those early stages of parenting is that all the hard work that you put into teaching your child to speak, will go so much further than you originally imagined.
Our little darlings are internalising everything about the way we communicate; the words, the tone, the related body language.
Now isn’t that a sense of responsibility!
Renowned author L.R Knost put it aptly when she said:
This is really at the heart of parenting. That’s why one of my first ever Serious Mumma Business Facebook posts encouraged parents to be role models rather than critics. After all, the voice we use with them now will be internalised and will be the voice they have to live with.
As a parent it’s crucial that we consciously choose our words and actions.
I’d like to share with you an example of where I’ve felt that I’ve done this well.
These words that Mr L is using with his dad are words he and his twin sister have heard enough times from me that they have been internalised.
Other times my daughter will say to one of us: “Breathe in, breathe out and take a minute”, something she hears quite a lot.
But, it would not be real to say that all the words I hear my children parrot back are as positive as this. A lot… but definitely not all.
A couple of nights ago Miss S was feeling quite frustrated with me. She managed to combine 2 things that she has heard from me.
The first part she has heard quite a bit I think. The second part, I’d like to think the kids have only heard a few times, but I’m sure I’ve said it to their father and even to them sometimes.
So as I was trying to help her put her doTERRA essential oils in the diffuser because I was worried she was going to break the glass, here’s what she said, in quite a tone I might add:
“I swear to God…. You’re driving me nuts!”
And of course, I reacted the wrong way. I laughed. So I’m sure I’ll be hearing this gem again.
But you know what, it’s inevitable that sometimes we will listen to our children and be really proud, while other times we might cringe. They are our little mirrors reflecting our choices, words and actions back at us.
While hearing this from my daughter certainly was not one of my proudest moments of motherhood, it was real.
It also gave me the opportunity to think about how often I’ve told someone in my family that they are driving me nuts. And now, that I’m conscious of it, I can make a decision about whether I’m happy with that, or make a change.
At the end of the day, we’re only human and it’s not realistic for us to never have a bad moment.
Like many other Serious Mummas out there, I tend to beat myself up. But not this time.
This time I am choosing to remember that a bad moment, does not make you a bad parent.
I will use this as motivation. I will keep striving to hear more of the first example, and less of the second.
I would love to hear from you about some ways that your children have been mirrors, whether they be proud moments or real moments.