The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. The way our children hear us talk to ourselves, can as well become their inner voice.
It would be a lie to say that our children are not a mirror or image of ourselves. They have our genetics. Some children that even after years of being separated from a parent duplicate mannerisms that is identical even with the absence.
Other than maybe how we as adults dress, our children pick up on many of our queues. We influence them through how we personally think, our choices in food, our choices in friends and our choice in how we speak.
I’d like address how we speak that influences ourselves and ultimately our families. Over the holidays I have heard one habit, yes a bad habit that I can proudly say I’ve licked; the habit of self-sabotaging language. So many of my dear friends, I hear use language towards themselves that I know would never be directed towards another friend or even their children.
Robert Burney writes in, Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls, “In order to Love ourselves we need to have boundaries within as well as external boundaries”. We set boundaries externally and continually with raising children and other areas in our life.
Just as with what we feed our bodies and souls, it is about choices with what we feed our mind and beliefs. We are, each and every one of us in our differences, created with perfection in God’s image. Honour that and be as gentle with that as you were when you brought home your new born child.
One little game I like to “play” when I would catch myself in the process of even thinking a self sabotaging thought would be to stop, just for a second. Recognize what’s happening. Look around at who was in my direct vicinity. Imagine, actually see, the face of one of your children as if what you’re about to say at yourself is directed at them. Not only that, but imagine your spirit. Every time you yourself use self-sabotaging language it leaves a dent, a black spot on your spirit. You become less.
In embracing all the days individually that creates a New Year my advice from my heart is to be gentle on yourselves. Love yourself as much as you love life and your family. Continue to feed the very best of nutrition to yourself and your family and the very best of thoughts to both as well.