When it comes to our language, what we say and how we say it are both important.
When we speak from a reactionary place, with fear, anxiety and/or negativity, our children absorb those emotions. If we regularly react to our child’s curiosity – such as looking at something breakable or picking up something that might be dirty – in a way that is alarming, we can have a negative effect on our children. If we constantly are saying “don’t touch, you might break it” or “leave that alone, it is dirty,” we are training our children to suppress their curiosity, and even fear it.
We want our children to be curious, right? We want to encourage them to ask questions, but also learn about the world through their own eyes and ears, not always ours. When we are overly cautious and put words to that caution, such as careful, dirty, etc., our children do not seek to explore or find interest in the world around them. Our voices will reverberate internally as they go through their own life. Many times, they take our phrases, comments, fears, and anxieties into their parenting and families. It becomes part of their conditioning.
However, when we use our words with intention and thoughtfulness, we can have a positive impact on our children, their development, and their self-esteem. For example, as your child is investigating the world around them, let them do it themselves, without your words stopping them. Imagine if they can look at something on a table, perhaps glass, without always hearing be careful or don’t touch. What if something breaks? We clean it up and move on. What if they dig in the dirt and stain their white shirt, but they truly connect with nature? Isn’t that more important than the dirt stains
So often we want to protect our children from harm or harming something else, but in doing so on a day-to-day basis we knock their spirit and curiosity down. When your child is curious, they are learning who they are and they are taking interest in the world around them.
How can we allow more curiosity in our children’s lives? If we can step back, take a deep breath, use silence as a strategy and observe our child at play, we may actually encourage their curiosity, rather than tarnishing it.
As a certified parent coach, I am here to support you in your journey. I can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.