My Grandma Maxine was truly remarkable. She was an absolutely tremendous grandma, and it wasn’t because of her cookies (which were great). It was because of the way she used her words.
Whenever I was with her (seriously, every time I was with her!) Grandma spoke kind words to me. I’ve now realized that these words were not just kind, but that they were also powerful. Now, don’t get me wrong when I use the word powerful. These words were not complicated or fancy. Let me give you some examples…
-I love spending time with you. Come back again soon.
-Your hair is so shiny and pretty today.
-You have such nice handwriting.
-You are brave to go out for basketball.
-I think you are kind.
-I’m proud of you for trying hard in school.
-I’m glad you’re my granddaughter.
-I love your dimples. They are just so cute.
Recently I read this verse, and it reminded me that words of affirmation are not just nice to hear. They are actually soothing to the soul, and healing to the body.
Proverbs 16:24 Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.
Lately, I have been reflecting on the power of words, and I have been compelled to use more affirmation when speaking to my kids.
I want to build up their young minds with truths about themselves. I don’t want to miss opportunities throughout each short day to soothe them and build them up. If feel that I can build a wall brick by brick, (kind word by kind word) around their tender hearts and minds.
I want to affirm who they are:
-You are a gift from God.
-You are so special to me.
-You were fearfully and wonderfully made.
-God has all of your days planned, and he has good things planned for you.
-We are blessed to have you as part of our family.
I want to affirm their efforts: (Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for perfection in anyway; I just want to show them that I notice their efforts)
-You made your bed without being asked!
-You do a good job eating fruit and vegetables.
-I noticed that you were kind to the player on the other basketball team.
-You picked out a nice outfit today.
-You really use your imagination when you play.
-I like it when you visit with me when I’m making dinner.
And I want to tell them how I feel about them:
-I love having you in our family
-You are one of my very best friends.
-I think you are so smart, cute, and funny.
-I like spending time with you.
-If I could pick any ten year old in the world to my girl, I’d pick you.
Remember how above I said that my grandma told me that she loved my dimples? The last time she said this to me was only about three years ago, when I was already in my thirties! It was one of the last things she said to me. It might seem silly, but it actually meant so much to me. I had just had my fifth baby, I was very low on sleep and didn’t have the time to give much thought to my appearance. When she said that I had dimples and that I was cute, it actually meant so much to me. That memory will always be precious!
Proverbs 25:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
So, I’d like to challenge you today. What kind words can we speak to our kids? What apples of gold, what honey can we give to our children? Let’s build the wall, brick by brick around their tender hearts and minds. Let’ start with this one: “I love you.”