Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Labels Can Stick

I randomly found this article on a site I had never visited before.  I feel like this is great advice for all of us parents!

Labels Can Stick
By Gregg Stutts

When I was a kid, my mother once called me “anti-social” because I didn’t want to go to a party. I’ve never forgotten that.

During her childhood, a friend of mine was introduced by her mother as the “pretty, but not too smart” one. She’s never forgotten that.

Words matter. Labels can stick. Especially when they come from a parent.

So try to catch your children in the act of using their God-given gifts or exhibiting a certain character quality you want to reinforce. Identify it. Give it a name. Then point it out to them.

Let’s say you ask your son to clean his room. An hour later you check and the job is done. When you tuck him into bed, you could say, “Son, you not only got your room clean, but you did it right and you did it the first time I asked. You are someone who is responsible and trustworthy.”

Maybe your teenage daughter is trying a new hairstyle (or make-up, clothing, etc.). Try saying, “You sure are beautiful, but not just on the outside. I’m so proud of who you are.”

Your words are going to stick one way or the other. You might as well make them good ones.

You can read more interesting posts on the site HERE.  It is called the DadPad, and it is a site for Dads with articles written by Dads.  (I am not a Dad, but I still found a lot of the articles enlightening!)


Jen said...

That is a GREAT reminder. There are times when I'm frustrated with my kids and I say something I definitely don't mean. This reminds me to stop and point out the good things!

juliadhull said...

AWESOME Advice, thank so much for sharing, I'm going to check out the DadPad now!

Stephanie said...

My name is Stephanie and I am a good friend of Janessa. Anyway... I am a teenager and my mom repeatedly tells me I am antisocial and that I act more like a boy. I never forget those times. But it is the uplifting stuff that makes your heart flutter and go weak at the knees because it outwardly shows their love for you. It just takes a lot to get to the surface sometimes.

janessica said...

I think it can sometimes go the other way too. My parents were always so proud of me for being good at school, which is awesome, but if I ever got a bad grade I felt like I had no identity because I wasn't the smart one anymore. Being a parent is scary.

janessica said...

I did!

Gregg Stutts said...

Great blog! And thanks for posting my article from the DadPad.