Words hold power. They can build you up. They can tear you down.
In TweedleWink, we can see how positivity affects learning. A positive environment maintains the alpha-wave frequency that is needed for optimum right-brain input and memory storage. But it's affects are deeper and long lasting, creating not only IQ but EQ and lifelong good health as well.
MASARU EMOTO, WORDS & WATER
You might be familiar with Masaru Emoto's work with frozen water crystals. Through a special type of photography, he is able to take pictures of water affected by both positive and negative words, thoughts and feelings. Water labeled with a positive statement, such as "I love you" creates a beautifully symmetrical snowflake-like pattern. Water labeled with a negative statement, such as "Go away!" creates a shattered, jagged appearance or hazy blob. Water reacts to words and emotion! Children do, too. And you don't need a microscope to see it. Here's how to make positive language an everyday parenting habit.
5 WAYS TO MAKE EVERY WORD COUNT
STEP 1: HOLD THE HIGHEST VISION
Words come from thoughts. Thoughts come from feelings. And our feelings come from our beliefs. So, as parents, in order to really charge our words with conviction, we need to hold the highest vision of our children. Do you believe your child is a genius? Do you believe your child is a remarkable child that will achieve wonderful things? Are you excited about who your child is now and what your child will become? If the answer is: YES, YES and YES, then you're on your way!
STEP 2: NOTICE THE LITTLE THINGS
Positive words can sometimes be EMPTY. Praise is more meaningful when it shows that you have paid attention. Did your son put his shoes away carefully? Did your daughter wash her plate? Observing and looking for positive actions create the fuel for meaningful praise. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." Likewise, if we look for the good in our children--and catch them doing things right-- their goodness will grow.
Here are some positive words you can use to rejoice in your child's SPECIFIC little victories:
STEP 3: THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK
Carefully selected words make sure that you and your child feel refreshed and recharged with positivity throughout the day. It does take practice. As left-brain adults, we tend to complain or see what needs correction. If you see the wonder in your life, then those types of behaviors will grow. How you give feedback is important, too. Remember: the right brain cannot process "negatives" such as NOT, or DON'T. So, you'll need to catch yourself and rephrase your wording to be more positive.
"Don't touch that!"
We are in a store where many things could break. Let's play a game and keep our hands in our pockets until we leave.
"Don't jump on the sofa!"
Ouch! That hurts the sofa. Let's be nice to it sit down nicely.
STEP 4: USE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Positive affirmations can be used throughout the day, as you think of it. Affirmations right before rest or bedtime are especially powerfully because of the brain's wave patterns changing from beta to alpha state. Here's how.
AFFIRMATIONS FOR BABIES
Once your child is ready to take his nap or go to sleep at night, cuddle him, rock him, and share positive statements to help address and reshape what he is experiencing now. Be creative. Make sure your comments address fears or issues at hand. You can say something simple, like:
"Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. We are gentle and kind to our toys. We are gentle and kind to our friends. You are safe. You are loved. We are a happy family."
AFFIRMATIONS FOR CHILDREN
When your child is old enough to give affirmations for themselves, you can help guide the process. They can repeat after you, while rocking or holding--or while sitting in a relaxed meditation. Here are some affirmations children love to say…
I feel happy.
I love my Mommy and my Daddy.
I love and accept myself for who I am right now.
I am unique and special.
I am smart and helpful.
I am protected.
I am thankful for my blessings.
I radiate love to others.
I make good decisions.
I enjoy eating healthy snacks.
I enjoy exercising and playing outside.
I listen to my parents and my teachers.
I believe in my dreams.
I do what is right.
I am compassionate and kind.
If you'd like to add affirmations of your faith, then please add "I love ______ ." [Insert: God, Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Kuan Yin, etc.]
STEP 5: LEAVE A LEGACY OF LOVE
In this final step, ask yourself: "What words do I want my children to remember… long into the future, when they are old and gray?"
This is important to ponder. African-American poet and educator, Maya Angelou, grew up timid and shy. Meaningful words from her mother compelled her to share herself with the world. In her own words:
"One day in San Francisco when I was 20 years old, I went to visit my mother, a visit which took place about once a month. She had cooked two of my favorite dishes and had offered me money. I always ate the food and I always refused the money.
At the end of the visit she accompanied me out of the house and down to the bottom of the hill. She offered me a ride in her big beautiful, beige and tan Pontiac.
Characteristically, I thanked her and refused. And then she spoke to me, and in her speech, liberated me forever. She put her hand on my face and, speaking softly, said:
'Daughter, I think you are the greatest woman I have ever met. You are kind and you are intelligent, and those two virtues rarely go together.'
She asked me for a kiss and walked south to her car, and I crossed the street east to the streetcar line.
I remember that day as vividly as if it happened yesterday. I remember how the sun fell into the windows and onto the slots of the streetcar benches. I remember thinking: 'Suppose she is right; just suppose I'm really somebody.'
"I began to set my sights higher, my aspirations higher, my hopes higher. For on that day I believed that I might just reach the top."