Thursday, December 18, 2008

Watch the language In front of the children

Our children are like little sponges. They suck up everything they see us do and say. Particularly, what we say and how we say it. It’s so important to be aware of every word spoken in their presence. Most people will associate this with bad language, but in this case I’m referring to how we verbalize our bad thinking. The bad thinking can get passed down from one generation to the next. One of my favorites is how we describe and talk about work.
Here are some of the typical things we might say in front of them:
“I had a long day at work today.”
“Work is a real *$*%^#$.”
“Some of us have to work for a living.”
“You think I like working?”

Some other indirect ways of describing work negatively:
“Your father has work tomorrow, so we can’t go.”
“I would take you, but I have work.”
“I missed your game because I had to work.”
"Leave me alone while I'm working."

We are all victims of a society where these types of comments to describe what one does for a living, are commonly used. Of course, the next generations will grow up saying the exact same things. Try to catch yourself doing this and stop. Try something different. When asked about your day, describe it for what it really is. Someone has entrusted you to solve problems and perform tasks, because they believe in you and your abilities. That sounds like something to be proud of. Think of this and then respond. My guess is your answer will come out differently. Don’t use work as an excuse for things. Take responsibility for your decisions and don’t blame work. I know plenty of people who have been out to the wee hours of the morning and the fact that they had work the next morning, didn’t deter them. If you can do this, you might end up with children who have a positive attitude, to the very thing that they will spend most of their lives doing.
If you still have your doubts about this one, then ask yourself why the same event can be such a different experience for different people. I have friends who describe going to Disney as torture and others who can't wait to take their families. It's the same event, so whats the difference?
The difference is only in their perception of the event and the story they tell themselves about it.
Watch your language when you describe school, it works the same way.

1 comment:

Mari Mesa said...

Yes, the same excuses that you teach your children tend to come back to hunt you, they will be used against you when they vacate the nest.