Words have power. Every word we speak is rich with energy, and that energy not only affects us, but it also affects everyone around us. Especially our children. Our child counselors know only too well how words can impact the development of confidence and self-worth in children, and our adult counselors see the lasting effects that words can have on an individual.
For a moment, let’s look at the results of an experiment performed by Japanese scientist Dr. Masura Emoto. Using water in one experiment and rice in another, Dr. Emoto spoke words of kindness and encouragement to one specimen, and hurtful, negative phrases to the other. The water that received praise, when frozen, created perfectly beautiful ice crystals. The water exposed to negativity generated malformed and erratic ice formations. Similarly, the rice spoken to in a positive manner stayed white and fresh, while the other rice grew moldy and rotten. This experiment has been performed countless times using plants and other types of organic matter—and always reaps the same results. Words have power.
Now, consider that our bodies are made up of 90% water. Think about how words must affect us on a cellular level. Think about how words must affect your children on a cellular level.
The words we use with our children can build them up or destroy their self-esteem. Our children look up to us, whether they show it or not, and our approval is important to them. Words we speak out of frustration may resonate with them for many years to come, even into their adult lives.
That is not to say we shouldn’t discipline our children. We just need to choose our words carefully. Make sure your child understands that you don’t think he or she is bad—only that their action or behavior was unacceptable. When possible, rephrase negative statements as positive. I know you can treat your sister kindly because I see you do it all the time, rather than, Don’t be mean to your sister. Reinforce the positive action.
On the other end of discipline is the way we praise our children. Be specific, as children can become embarrassed by general, gushy praise. Instead of The picture you colored is amazing, say, You did a great job choosing colors and staying inside the lines. Specifics brings your child to realize that they did, in fact, do a great job and points out what they did well.
Contact Creative Counseling Center
Creative Counseling Center offers play therapy for children, as well as counseling services for teenagers, adults, couples and families. If you believe that you, a family member, or a friend could benefit from seeing a counselor, contact us using the brief form below. We are happy to offer a free phone consultation for all new patients. We look forward to hearing from you!