“If you are a parent, recognize that it is the most important calling and rewarding challenge you have. What you do every day, what you say and how you act, will do more to shape the future of America than any other factor." ~~ Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund
Who needs to live by these love words?
We all do! Use empathy to put yourself in a child’s shoes and try to remember what it felt like to be 4 or 7 or 11, for example, to motivate you to use these “love words to live by” and actions that go along with them, particularly when you are tempted to shame, blame, put down, ignore or threaten out of anger or frustration. Think how healthy the world would be if everyone used these caring, loving and protective words and actions when interacting with children and adults. We all have instances in which we have encountered people who do the opposite—people who discourage, put down, shame and blame, for example. If you want your child and those around you to live by these loving words, begin by using them yourself in every interaction…with the children and adults in your lives
What happens when you live by these love words?
Your mental, physical and emotional health improves! Use care in choosing the words you use every day, and the tone of voice and body language that you use when you talk with your child and others—whether you are setting limits (“When you put away your toys, you can go outside to play.”) or sharing your feelings (“I am sorry that you are cold. I don’t like to be cold, either!”) As Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.”