Do you remember something your mom said to you as a child that’s impacting how you feel about your self today? Your words and actions have a much bigger impact on your kids than you realize. Here are three ways to help you watch your words.

a. Tell the truth about your child’s behavior sooner than you normally would. Tell your child how you feel as soon as you feel it. Doing that reduces the possibility that you’ll have a reaction because you waited too long to share how you felt. Some parents let behavior slide hoping it will magically change on it’s own. Behavior won’t change on it’s own. Children are young so they’ll be doing many, many things wrong in order to learn. If you let behavior slide there’s a much greater chance your reaction will include mean or disrespectful words.

b. How often do you correct your child? Do you correct everything your child does, all day every day? Even though I just suggested that you tell the truth sooner rather than later, doesn’t mean you should jump on everything your child does. Pull back and let the consequences of his/her actions teach too. Pick your battles carefully. Why do I say this? Because if you correct everything your child does, he or she will begin to feel defeated and may begin to mimic you in their own immature way. They may become oppositional and defiant because they perceive that’s they way you treat them.

c. Stating the truth has a weight of it own. Has anyone ever told you something that you didn’t expect to hear? Didn’t it feel like the words had a weight of their own causing that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach? Deliver your truthful words with love and empathy, instead of on the wings of a sword.

Looking for details of how to apply all of this? Check out our series and book to see how we can help.