The Power of Words

July 17, 2009 · 2 comments

in Daily Life

Some people wouldn’t tell this story, but I am going to tell it , because I believe it’s instructive in the sense that it shows I’m human and capable of making mistakes, as we all are! Hopefully I’m learning from my mistakes as well!

I was driving S. home from pre-school earlier this week, and we were chatting as usual, while she sipped from her juice box and munched a snack.

S. started to play with the straw from her juice box, pulling it out and splashing little drops of juice around in the process. I unthinkingly said, “I hate it when you play with the straw from your juice box.”

S. replied, “Is it because it makes a mess, and then sometimes the straw gets lost, and then I get sad because I can’t drink my juice?”

Me- “Exactly.”

S.- “OK, I’ll put the straw back.”

Me- “Thank you.”

A few moments of silence- then- “Lisa, are you a part of our family?”

Me-(Wondering where this question is coming from)- “Well, yes, I guess I am in a way.” (I’ve been S.’s full time caregiver for three years now, and I relocated to Santa Cruz with her family late last year.)

S.- ” Because in our family, we don’t use the word hate. Hate it is a very strong word.”

There I was- CAUGHT! Of course she was right.

Nothing left for me to do except apologize for speaking carelessly.

So I apologized and validated what S. had just said- “You know S., you are absolutely right. I spoke without thinking. There are lots of other ways for me to say that I don’t want you to play with your straw, without saying hate.”

S. -“Yeah, like you could just ask me not to do it, or you could say you don’t like it, or you would prefer I didn’t…”

I had to smile as I heard my oft repeated words coming back to me, reminding me to remain conscious that I am responsible not just for imparting lessons, but also responsible for leading by example!

We should all be so lucky as to have a four year old following us around reminding us to be our best selves !

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{ 2 comments }

Amy ~ RIE parent April 1, 2011

thats a great story!

Bence Gerber April 1, 2011

Perfect story to remind us of the wisdom of childern

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