powerful post from one of my favorite blogs and she's also the author of one of my favorite books that has been so inspirational to me this last year.
Hands Free Mama is the book by Rachel Macy Stafford
The blog is handsfreemama.com.
The post is about how we gravitate towards using our kids' names in a more negative manner than positive. I sat for a moment and realized how perfectly timed the reading of this post was for me.
Just the day before, I was pretty upset with my daughter- I instantly wanted her attention and caught myself starting to say , "Nathaniel"- that is my oldest son and he is the one who I most often need to correct or stop from doing something.
This was a powerful moment for me because I realized it was so ingrained in me to get upset with him that even when I got upset with the others, his name just rolled off out of habit.
A few months ago, I committed to writing cards to my kids and placing them in their lunch boxes, as well as just randomly placing them at their chairs in the mornings. I used to not give my kids' cards on their birthdays because I thought they were a waste of money since they gave them a quick glance and put them down. But that quick glance, I realized, is enough to commit those words to memory.
I started writing them cards, because written word is meaningful. Words carry with us. I know how I feel about my kids and I realized that maybe they didn't always assume that I loved them all the time, no matter what. I write them cards to let them know they arere special and that they mean something. I want them to hear my words when they need them. If they are having a bad day or feeling bad about themselves, I want them to be able to dig down and remember that I told them they were important and special.
Life is hard, especially for a kid, but it's a lot easier, when you have some positive words ringing in the back of your head.
One thing I used to love as a kid was stuff with my name on it. I had a very favorite decoration for my room that I got in Boston as a little girl, and it was a pennant flag with my name on it. I used to practice writing my name in cursive all over everything too. Names are important and they do make us feel special.
After reading that article the other day, it reminded me of how excited my kids get when I give them something with their name on it- a lunch plate, a notebook with their name, personalized notecards, stockings, a card- it's all meaningful to them in their little confused hurried world.
Most recently, I've been making canvases for their bedrooms with their names on them and something special. I've only completed two so far, but the look on my oldest son's face when he saw his and realized that I made it for him was priceless. I want him to read that everyday and know it's true.
For every bad reaction that causes you to use your child's name, find a good way to counter it.