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Words Matter

In the words of Dr Haim Ginot from the book ‘Between parent and child’, he writes, “ our responses ( words and feelings) can make a decided difference in the atmosphere of our homes”.

Moms are the pulse of the house and their mood can alter everyones feelings.

Think of a time when your partner belittled you and how it ruined the rest of your day. We all want to be loved and understood. An example from the book is a mom burning the toast as the baby is crying and her phone is ringing. Her partner criticizes her for burning the toast and does not help out or offer support.

Most of us become angry and resentful if we are criticized. My responses would be totally different if my partner complained about the burnt toast or if he soothed the baby and offered to make more toast.

The same applies to our children. If they are criticized or can’t cope, they become angry and usually blame someone. Many of us get defensive and become angry with the child.

Learning to hear the child and not the complaint helps us understand how they feel. Instead of reacting to their behavior we are listening to how they feel.

If a child is struggling putting on their shoes and then throws them away, we need to understand their frustration and say,

“Shoes are difficult to put on. Can I help?”

Or “ You seem mad with these shoes, they just won’t go on your feet.”

Nobody wants to shout at their child and if we do, we end up feeling guilty and angry with ourselves which ruins our day.

Dealing with how our child feels, shows empathy and is the way forward to improve behavior.

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