Amy Hayes is the founder and president of The Parent Coach. Borne out her passion for parenting, The Parent Coach serves parents, as well as teachers, caregivers, coaches – and anyone interested in reaching children.
Ms. Hayes has raised 8 children of her own, including one special needs child, and several gifted children. Her journey has included divorce, remarriage, single-parenting, step-parenting, blended families, abusive relationships, working mom, stay-at-home mom, and homeschooling. Along the way Ms. Hayes, an avid reader, gleaned much knowledge from many parenting experts in addition to her own experience.
Her passion is to share this knowledge, with parents and teachers to make the world a better place for children. As a result, she founded The Parent Coach. You can reach Amy Hayes at 214-385-0898.
Read Amy's article below
Parenting is the most important "job" in the world. Parents shape the future of our world! Not only that, but every relationship we have in life is based on our relationship with our parents. Therefore it is critical that parents take their "job" seriously, not just for the good of the child, but for the good of us all! Sometimes I see children behaving horribly in public, and I think, "these are going to be my kids' neighbors, co-workers, and even spouses!
It is my hope that this article, and subsequent articles, will help equip you, the parent, for the incredible task you face.
Today I want to talk about shaping your child's future. This is very easily done. Yes, you do not have to hope and pray (although that's not a bad idea) that your child will be responsible, productive, happy, respectful, etc; you can actually determine what he will be. This is not hocus pocus, this is the POWER OF WORDS! Yes, the power that lies in your tongue and the words you speak to your children determines their future. This is good news!
You have probably heard the famous quotation that says, "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." Or "as a man thinks, so he is." These are both taken from the ancient scriptures. And if you're reading this, you have probably read volumes of books that expound on these two concepts alone. Most of us are in the process of trying to re-train our thinking. Imagine how far ahead our children will be if they start out with right thinking about themselves. It is mind-boggling!
You can easily harness the tremendous power of words the day your baby arrives, or even before! As soon as he can hear you, begin speaking positive affirmations over him. Things like, "you are a valuable member of this family", "You are so kind and helpful" (fill in any other positive character trait). I love this one and use it all the time with my son: "You always do what mommy says"! I also love to prophesy their future with affirmations like: "You will do great things in your life that will help many people". You can even train their personal habits by saying things like, "we eat fresh fruits and vegetables everyday". And "we always wash our hands before eating". "I love how you keep your things neat and tidy!" The list is endless.
Here's an example from my own life of how powerful this concept is. My youngest son was born with Down's Syndrome. He did not have that "drive to thrive" that normal infants have. Consequently he would sleep 12+ hours at night. For mom, that was heaven, but for a newborn, that means trouble. So I had the daunting task of waking him every 2 hours to feed him. Well, waking him was impossible, and then getting him to nurse was out of the question. After 2 sleepless nights, I suddenly had a revelation. Use the power of words! So I did. I began telling him "Jonathan, you are such a good eater". Well, the first time I said it, there was no conviction in my voice, because I "knew" better. But I continued saying it to him over and over, each time getting stronger and stronger in my belief. You won't believe it, but in less than 2 days, he was nursing like a champ! He is 10 years old now and I have never had another problem with him eating just about anything I put before him. His teachers all marvel that his favorite snack is raw broccoli! All because I told him, when he was a few days old, that he was a good eater. Simple!
As your child grows, you will begin to see the fruit of your lips in his life. There is no greater reward as a parent. Most parents react to their child's behavior, even reinforcing their negative behaviors with their words by talking about them! I cringe when I hear a parent say things like, “she is so fussy” or “he is such a picky eater”. They do not know that they are cementing these habits in their little one’s sub conscious mind. But this is a proactive way of parenting; a positive parenting model that works even when negative behaviors are present, like my son's eating habits. Instead of the above comments, parents can counteract negative behaviors with statements like, “he is learning to try new foods”, or “she is a calm, peaceful child”.
If your children are older, even teenagers, don't be discouraged. You can still see dramatic changes almost immediately when you change the words that come out of your mouth. If you have a messy teen who has trouble keeping his room clean, try this one: "You are so neat and tidy. I appreciate how hard you work to keep your room clean." Can you imagine the look of disbelief on his face when he knows his room is a mess? He may say something like, "but mom, my room is a disaster". You can reply with, "I know, but I also know that you are capable of keeping it clean." Don't make this into a "big deal". Just go on with what you are doing with a confident smile on your face. As he begins to hear more and more of these positive things about himself, his self-image will change. Then both of you will be happier, your relationship will improve, and he will grow into the capable, productive, happy person that you believe he is!
Parenting is the most difficult job in the world, but by using the power of positive words, parents can lay a foundation early that will pay big dividends for the rest of their lives.