We often say things without really thinking about the true effect of our words. How many of us have said some of these lines?
1) “You can’t leave the table until you have eaten all of your vegetables”
2) “If you don’t finish your homework there will be no TV”
3) “Clean up your room! It’s a mess!”
This all seem like pretty basic parenting statements and teachers as well might use phrases like:
4) “If you finish your work we can play a game”
5) “If you don’t stop messing around, I will take away your playtime”
6) “Can you colour the grass green? Grass shouldn’t be purple”
But just what are we really saying here? Let’s take a look…
1) “Vegetables are bad and should be endured whether you are hungry or not. When you finish you will be free to leave the table, but make sure this memory stays with you forever and that you grow up hating vegetables”
2) “I know homework is boring but if you manage to push through the pain of learning, you can have fun watching TV… Yayyyy Ultraman!”
3) “You cannot have your own space and freedom. This is your room but it’s my house so you must have it how I say”
4) “Work is boring, games are funnnnnnnnn”
5) “If you don’t sit still I will take away your only outlet for actually releasing that pent up energy… and then I will expect you to sit still after play too.”
6) “Don’t be creative. You need to fit into the system and see things how everyone else sees them”
These are just some examples of things everyone says, pretty much all of the time. None of us are perfect and we will all say things from time to time that we shouldn’t, but just try to think a little more about the implications of some of the phrases we use the most often. Could they be said differently?