Our words are important. They are powerful. How you use them can create a sense of peace and calm or divisiveness and shame. When talking to my children I not only see them as a vital part of our family, but I also see them as independent beings deserving of the same courtesy I extend to friends, my spouse, or even strangers. Do I falter? Absolutely. I have been out of line at times when I have spoken to my kids and I apologize when I use my words incorrectly, but I have heard some pretty nasty things said to kids and this got me thinking. What if adults spoke to other adults the way I have heard them speak to kids?
Upset or sad adult:
-Get over it. Stop whining. You brought it onto yourself. Just stop crying or I will give you something to cry about. You’re being such a baby.
-Don’t eat that. You have had enough already. You are eating again? I told you to stop getting food without asking me first.
-(While laughing) It’s not that big of a deal. You still don’t know how to do that? We have done this so many times.
An adult who just got hurt:
-Oh, get up, you’re fine. Just brush it off. Be tough. You really don’t need a band aid. Well, don’t cry about it.
An adult who asks for assistance:
-Gah, can’t you get it yourself? I’m kinda busy right now. Or just ignore them until they leave you alone.
You’re being silly. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Don’t be a baby. You are really over-reacting.
A NOT tired adult:
-too bad, it’s time for bed. I don’t care if you’re not sleepy, I need MY time. Are you trying to exhaust me?
When engrossed in an activity:
-We need to go NOW. Stop what you are doing right now and pick up your toys. You play that too much. Can’t you find anything else to do with your time?
Have you heard any of these sentiments before? Do any make you cringe? If we somehow can keep our emotions in check when talking to complete strangers and we recognize that using harsh tones and biting words is rude, socially unacceptable behavior, then why are we supporting this kind of talk towards children? Things that make you go hmmm.