Tuesday, February 02, 2010


The other day it was brought to my attention by Simon the power of labels and parents words. When Simon meets a new adult and we introduce him he often covers his head or hides behind a leg. Countless times we've said, "Oh, he's just a little shy." Harmless right?

We have this book titled "Children Are Like Wet Cement." I've never read it but the person who gave it to us passed on a little piece of wisdom. Children become what we impress upon them. I'm a firm believer in this and try saying things like.. "you are such a good eater... you are so kind to your brother.." and try to avoid comments like, "you are so stubborn."

We were at a friend's house for a party and gathering to pray before dinner. Simon said, "I don't want to go in .. I'm shy." Wait.. how does he know he is shy? Because I've said it about him over and over. I never thought that our comment "Oh, he's a little shy" could end up making him feel like he can't do something. There is nothing wrong with being shy. I just don't want him to decide he is shy because he's heard us tell others.

I think we all have those comments or labels that have stuck with us through the years. Maybe from a parent or teacher. Most likely the adult didn't realize what effect it could have. In my job I think about that all of the time. What comments just come flying out of my mouth that a kid could possible remember forever. Scary!

Simon can still hide behind my leg or cover his head when he meets someone. I just don't need to give it a label.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Good point! Wow, I never thought about it that way. I need to pay more attention to what I say...