Take a minute to describe yourself. What words come to mind? Are they words that build you up? Or tear you down? Do you think of words others may have said about you? Words are powerful. A well-placed word can do so much for a person, but a cutting word or remark does more, only negatively and much longer lasting. We need to use our words to build each other up. I can clearly remember the names I was called as a child. I also remember the good things said about me, but not as clearly.
As a child, I loved to sing. I sang in school, church, and at home to the songs played on the radio. I had gotten a really cool, battery-operated transistor radio with a little earplug for Christmas. I carried it around with me all the time. In fact, I used to get in trouble for always having the earplug in my ear and the radio on. The following winter, my class was having a Christmas party and the teacher said we could sing Christmas carols with a friend in front of the class. Everyone in the class was excited! One of the girls in the class and I decided we were going to sing “Silver Bells.” We practiced and were ready for our song. I don’t remember much more about that day –other than the comment from my teacher –that I couldn’t sing and should never sing again. Those words have stuck with me for 40 years.
As a teacher, my class and I sing everyone morning during Bible time. I still think my voice is awful, but my class loves to hear me sing. But that hasn’t stopped me. Their love and acceptance of my froggy voice makes teaching them a joy! I try every day to build my students up, say positive things to them, and pray that during the time they are with me they will love school and love to read and feel good about who they are. I also try to do the same thing as a mom. Sometimes we speak without thinking, we say the first thing that comes to mind, and the result can be disastrous. Or something we say gets taken the wrong way. Take time daily to praise your child and say something that boosts confidence. Put a note in a lunchbox, text your child something silly, tell them you love them. Let them have lots of good things to remember from their childhood.