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Yearly resolutions are a tricky thing—high expectations,
inevitable slipups, unattainable goals. We all know the annual drill by now,
Maybe resolutions work for you. Maybe you’ve been able to
make major overhauls to your life with the swiftness of a new calendar page. You haven’t yelled at your kids
since December 31, 2012, thanks to last year’s resolution. Hats off to you! Mazel!
For the rest of us, lofty broad-stroke resolutions can leave
us a little disappointed—defeated, even. So maybe this year we start with
something simple, like our vocabulary. A slight shift in the words we say to
ourselves in our heads and the words we say to those in our lives can make a
profound difference in our everyday lives.
Here are 15 things that all kids could
benefit from hearing this year, not only from our mouths, but also from our
tone, presence, actions and mannerisms.
1. “I hear you.”
I hear the story you’re telling, I hear
your frustration and anger, and I hear what you’re trying to say.
2. “Take your time.”
(I’ll say after a deep breath.) Too often
the words out of my mouth (and on my face, and in my exasperated sighs) are,
“We’re going to be late,” “Hurry up” and “We don’t have time.” In 2015, I’ll
tell him to take his time as often as I can. Because really, why am I rushing away the time?
3. “It’s OK to make mistakes.”
That’s how you learn. This probably needs
to be said through my reactions more than anything.
4. “You make my life better.”
5. “You don’t have to be perfect.”
6. “It’s OK to cry.”
When you need to cry, cry. It’s not a girly thing to do; it’s a human thing to do. And the ones who stuff everything inside and hold
back the tears at all costs, turn out way more emotionally dysfunctional
because of it.
7. “It’s OK to feel angry or sad or WHATEVER it
is you’re feeling."
I can handle your emotions. And those
feelings will go away, I promise.
8. “I can help you calm down.”
Even though emotions are temporary, they’re
still difficult to let go of, especially the real heavy ones like rage and
disappointment. Sometimes kids need guidance in how to calm down.