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Love and Parenting: Words of affirmation

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. -Frederick Douglas

What is one thing an adult said to you when you were a child that you have never forgotten? Words are some of the most powerful tools that humans possess. When we are young and impressionable or in a vulnerable state, words have the power to make us doubt ourselves and feel unworthy or heal a wound and make us excited about life.  Psychology has even suggested that words go beyond emotions and impact our perception of the world around us. 

Science suggests that children ages 0-7 are predominantly in alpha or theta brainwave cycles. This is a similar state to hypnosis or meditation. These years are considered a human’s programming years and subsequently when we develop ideas about love, life, family and our own identity. The messages that we receive during this time of our lives are monumental in our development. So, I ask you again, “What is one thing an adult said to you when you were a child that you have never forgotten?” 

It is no surprise that a child’s identity is significantly impacted by their parents and caregivers. Not only does it matter what we say, but how we say it, how often it was said and the environment it was said in. Our children are lovely little vessels waiting to be filled with as much love and wisdom as we can give them. When my oldest was very young, I was upset with her and loudly correcting her. I remember a moment where I could see the hurt in her face. I wasn’t saying anything mean or derogatory, but my voice was raised, and I was frustrated. In that moment I understood that this child and the rest of my children were on loan to me and that I had a massive responsibility to honor my parental agreement with God and send them into the world full of all the things that make them strong, confident, wise and joyful. As parents, we are living on borrowed time and our job is to help them become the best they can be, not to live vicariously through them while righting the wrongs of our own childhood.

I wish I could say that lesson was a one and done and that I never raised my voice at my children ever again. That is not the truth. I am still a work in progress, but I am fully committed to becoming a better mother than I was the previous year for the rest of my life. I do not take this job lightly. It is one of life’s great honors to be a mother.

Our society is so full of negative messages and our home cannot be an extension of that negativity. Don’t miss an opportunity to affirm your child. Tell your children that you love them and are proud of them. Tell them that they bring joy to your life and help you to be a better person, because they do. 

It is also important that we teach them to affirm themselves. I have done affirmations on the way to school with each one of my children. They should not be reliant on the world’s approval of them. There will be times in their lives when they will inevitably have to pick themselves up off the floor and choose faith over fear and hope over despair, just like we have. 

Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.  -Brooke Hampton

I would love to hear from you! Please reach out to me via my website, or find me on Facebook under HS Haygood. I’m looking forward to reading your comments! 

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