The power of words… Parenting Language

Today’s parenting post is less about offering a solutions and more about asking for support.

The Power of Words... a little parenting reminder

A few weeks ago I spent all morning running around like a crazy person. I felt energized and  beamed with the satisfaction that only a highly productive day can bring.

It was about 2 in the afternoon when a friend took one look at me and said. “You look tired”. BAM… it hit like a ton of bricks. I was tired. My legs were sore, my eyes heavy, my body ached. Wait. I didn’t feel like that minutes ago, so why now? Because someone said so? Because once those words hit my ears they became true?

I never recovered from exhaustion that day and I was bummed. The power of those words had changed the feeling of my entire day.

Later in the week we were at the dinner table. Big M rubbed his head, momentarily closing his eyes. “You look tired bud”. (And boy did he.)

Oh no! Did I just map out his evening? Did I just ensure that he would drag through bath time, story time and rest time? Because if those words were powerful enough to change my physical state, surely they would do the same for him. That is not how I want my words to make him feel.

So I’m challenging myself to remove that phrase from my vocabulary. It won’t be easy, it’s a bad habit I know. It’s important enough, though, to make the effort.

There are lot’s of sentences that can drag us down. Can you think of one that you use? Will you join me in banishing it?


  1. I use this very phrase with my own kids, and I definitely don’t like it when other people say it to me. This is great food for thought. I’ll think more about what I say…

  2. I used to say to my children – have a good day – but now I say – I know you’re going to have a good day. Sometime I ask them to tell me what kind of day they are going to have based on the letter of the day ( a for the first day of the month and so on)

    1. not that I don’t think you should say that…
      but, we used to say ‘have a good day’ in our family.
      however, my husband started responding, “you don’t HAVE a good day, you MAKE a great day.”
      so the expression has become a version of that. helps to reinforce that some of it is in our hands, we can make it a good day, or not…

  3. We used to use the expression “I’m lucky” or “We are lucky. During a family discussion we realized that since we are Christians, we don’t believe in luck, so now we say that “we are blessed “, and we are!!

  4. Rather than telling yourself not to say that, find helpful phrases to replace it. What do you say instead when you see him looking tired?

  5. You could try, “Wow! Looks like you had an exciting day today!”.
    That could give that extra boost of energy for them to recall the most enjoyable parts of thier day. And could give them enough motivation to finish out thier evening.

  6. soo true.!and why we should never let them hear us say , ‘ughh, i dont wanna go to work’..what would make them ever want to get a job? lol

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