So I was watching ‘despicable me’ the other day. I want to say I got it for Xeresh, for movie night, but that’d be a lie…I got it for myself. There is this scene where Gru is a little boy and he says he wants to go to the moon and his mom replies “I’m afraid you’re too late, NASA isn’t sending the monkeys anymore”. Now I know its just a movie and yes I giggled when she said it, but something about that scene stuck with me this time ‘round. It was something a mother said to her child, that shaped his character forever. A lot of moms are probably thinking “I could never say something like that to my child” and we probably wouldn’t do it on purpose, but there are a million things we say during the day that will shape our children’s characters and unfortunately not always for the better. These things are not limited to what we say to our little humans, but what we say about that woman in the mirror and those around us.
I want my kids to be people that are kind to others AND themselves. To make sure they become decent humans I have to watch my mouth (hardest thing ever in life!). I can’t expect my daughter to have self-respect if I keep making comments about my lunar behind and ugly body. I can’t expect her to know her value is far more than her looks, if the only praise she receives is how pretty she looks. I can’t expect my children to believe they are loved if I only ever criticize them. I can not hope that my kids will be positive people if I am constantly negative about everything. My kids won’t accept those who are different from them if I am not tolerant of them being different from me. What we say about ourselves and others will have a massive impact on who they become.
We should stop making excuses for the things that come out of our mouths!
As I’ve mentioned, on the site, I am not someone who has a functioning brain-to-mouth filter and more often than not it is my best asset, but there are times when this attribute goes rogue and I find myself where I say less than acceptable things. My last little gem of unacceptable utterance was about what an idiot I was, because I struggled with something, with Xeresh in earshot. What I modeled in that moment was that whenever you struggle with something you are dumb and we all know that is NOT true. The sad fact is, however, that the truth doesn’t matter if what we say shows the contrary.
Kids aren’t born racist, hateful, condescending, disrespectful, self-doubting or negative. They are born full of love, hope, belief and awe. They learn to be otherwise. They learn from what they hear us say, they learn by watching what we do. That is the sad thing. We determine, largely, who our kids will become and we should start taking this responsibility more serious. We should stop making excuses for the things that come out of our mouths! We should make sure we raise children with powerful, steadfast characters, so that no lie spoken about them will shake them. What we say matter, because it will build the bases of who our kids will become.
So mommy, watch your mouth.