In all of the years that I have been in my business and attending conferences to motivate and inspire, I have frequently heard a lot of words of motivation. One that I’ve heard a lot is “It’s not what is taught; it’s what is caught.” Another saying that I’ve heard a lot is “What you think about you bring about.” When hearing these at conferences, I knew that they were accurate. However, it wasn’t until I started paying attention to what my own child was saying that I realized just how much what you say will become what you hear.
If you have a child of your own, are close with a friend’s child, or have relatives that you’ve witnessed grow through the toddler years, then you know that children pick up on the things you say. Usually you learn this the first time your kid drops something and says, “Shit.” Maybe it was the first time you called someone a “Dumbass” when they cut you off in traffic, and from the backseat you heard, “Dumbass.” While these things make you giggle (because you know we’re all secretly 7 some days), you know that you have to make a change so that your child will not think that it is acceptable to be three and cuss like a sailor. Even though this change can be hard to make, most of us are willing to do it or start using alternative codes for the betterment of our children.
But what about those words and phrases that we don’t think about that are causing our children to have negative thoughts? I started thinking about this one a lot lately with how much LilKsby has been saying “I’m scared” or “I’m afraid” when starting a sentence. He will apply it to things he’s completely not afraid of like “I’m scared of the garage.” He’s not the least bit scared of the garage, but I’ve realized how often he hears those phrases. Because of how much he hears them, he seems to just think that is how you start a sentence even though the emotion doesn’t apply. I caught myself today saying, “I’m afraid it’s going to be moldy” while washing dishes with LilKsby. I immediately corrected myself and told him that “I’m afraid” was the wrong phrase to use and that I should have said “I think.” Really, I could have cared less if the peanut butter jar full of water had become moldy. If it was moldy, I already knew that I would just throw it in the trash and recycle next time. Also, I’m not afraid of a moldy jar. Yet there I was making a hypothesis yet making it sound like I was scared of a jar. Instances like this make me realize just how much I need to be careful with my speech around a toddler in formative years.
With LilKsby being in his formative years, I am always fascinated by how much I am learning from him. I’m starting to think one of the greatest things about having a toddler is the life lessons that I am learning to make myself a better person. Am I perfect? Far from it! Are my words always the ones I want to hear repeated back to me? That is a HUGE work in progress! But I know that I’m doing something right when he tells people, “Thank you, have a blessed day!”
The Great Kaysby