When I visit my grandchildren, I’ve been surprised to hear my daughter in laws say to their children, “use your words.” They say this usually when a child is having a melt down, either because of fighting with a sibling or frustration at getting dressed or whatever. The mom will say, “Use your words”--implying “quit crying and tell me what’s going on”.
Use your words and tell your sister how that made you feel. Use your words and tell me why you don’t want to wear your red shirt. Use your words and tell me what’s wrong with the Cheerios in your bowl.
I wish I would have used this technique when my children were small. It’s a great way to help children realize they have feelings and put a name to them. It’s also a great way to help children organize their thoughts and express them—she hit me, it hurt, I’m angry. It’s a great way to visualize and organize past events—I took her toy, she hit me, it hurt, I’m angry. And finally, it’s a great way to evaluate choices and choose new ones—I took her toy, she hit me, it hurt, I’m angry, I should give her back the toy and say I’m sorry.
But what if your child is too young to use their words? Here comes the beauty of teaching your baby sign language. Is your toddler sleepy, hungry, wants more apples, or wants milk? Teaching these basic signs can really help a frustrated mother understand what her even more frustrated toddler is trying to tell her.
“Use your words”. Food for thought for even adults. One of my sons loves the book, Crucial Conversations, a book that tells how to deal with crucial events in people’s lives and deal with them in a constructive, positive way. http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadershop/0194-6excerpt.html
I guess every blogger knows the power of using your words. I’m using my words to hopefully give you ways to make your world a little easier and more fun.