Would you believe me if I told you tomorrow could be wonderful, all because your child chose a word?
I am a mum of 2 boys, the youngest is 1, he’s the rock star, no fear, gives everything a go kind of kid. The eldest, almost 4, he is a thinker, a deep thinker, a really deep thinker, and oh so emotional! Coupled with being almost 4 (the over emotional trying to work out life age) my eldest is on that non-stop rollercoaster, of extreme highs, followed by extreme lows. Yes, I have been one of ‘those’ parents carrying a screaming child out a store, because sometimes you just don’t know what else to do.
The thing with being a parent, is that you don’t always have all the answers or do all the right things, but the best thing you can do is learn and grow as you go. For 4 years now, I have been fuelling my parenting tank, absorbing as much as I can, and giving most things a try.
Right now, at this point of time, mindfulness works for us (like really well). Ahh, yes, mindfulness I hear you say, the word of the moment, the ‘hip’ thing to do. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be a calm all the time, never get angry or lose your cool, perfect parent to apply mindfulness. I’m no Martha Stewart, that’s for sure, and I’m definitely NOT a perfect parent (but what is one of those anyway?) and I certainly don’t always know the right things to say, even when my heartbroken, crying uncontrollably child is laying the floor of Coles because ALL the kid’s trolleys had wobbly wheels.
What I do have though is a parenting toolbox, which contains a heap of different ideas and techniques. We all know about living in the now, listening (yes get down to their level, full attention, listening) to our children and using relaxation methods.
Well, I have recently added to my toolbox and created something new, a Positive Words Card which is stuck up on my fridge at home. It’s a list of positive words that I read to Mr-almost-4, he then gets to pick one and that word becomes our ‘Word of the Day’. Leaving the decision in your child’s hand is half the fun, it’s a total surprise, from Curious, Challenged & Loving to potentially a very Peculiar day!.
What now? Well the word he chooses we use in sentences throughout the day, “I am really curious to find out what this book is about”: Mr-almost-4 “I’m really curious to find out what dinosaurs ate for breakfast”. I reference it in different ways, like “You really took on that challenge, with great success!”. We create different activities and exclaim, “Let’s go on a hunt for peculiar things!”. It becomes our ‘theme’ of the day, it creates a sense of excitement, keeps things fresh and give you lots of new ideas.
So what difference does having your child choose a word make? It makes a huge difference.
They own it, and from that, they expand their vocabulary, increase understanding and comprehension, spark engagement and calm their emotions. They receive continual positive messages throughout the day, and it gives you another word to use besides ‘good’.
As with anything it may not always go to plan, if your child doesn’t want to choose a word, you select one, and quickly your child will become interested. Do you have to do this every day? Of course not, do it whenever you like (or remember) there are no rules!
So, having a ‘Positive Word of the Day’ what have you got to lose? Nothing! But the possibility of what you and your child can gain is worth taking a chance on ‘just a “word”.
Ali Ormond is a mum of two boys from Adelaide, South Australia. Ali coordinates a FB group/ community of everyday mums where they give away and pay forward ideas, items, advice, and eco tips. The group has given away / RE homed over 10000 items to mums in need or charities , it’s a group (currently just for Adelaide mums) who help each other out. Check it out HERE