Monday, February 11, 2013

The names we call them

I am by no means a parenting expert,
but I did nanny for nine years,
and I learned my fair share of techniques that are being used and ousted and perfected with a baby of my own.
Not to mention, I was parented by two of the most perfect parents on the planet 
and that's got to be good for something, I suppose.

I would like to share the greatest lesson that I have learned by observing my parents and throughout my first  decade of caring for children.

Be careful of the names you call them.

In the nannying of one family,
this lesson hit me square between the eyes.

I observed the children with their parents and let me say...
with a capital B.

I started an experiment.
I told them on a daily basis what good children they are.
I reminded them of how special they are and how happy they make me.
I called them sweet and kind
and I never called them brats, annoying, spoiled, etc.

An amazing thing happened.
I had well behaved children.
We never even had a single temper tantrum.
Not one.

Until Mom or Dad would walk in the door and 
the floodgates of terror would open and Satan's spawn would return.

And Mom and Dad would say 
"You are such a little brat"
"Don't be annoying"
"What an attitude"
"You are a stinker"

Here's my philosophy:
What children are TOLD they are...
I was told that I was bad at math.
So I am.
I never tried to be good at it because I was told I wasn't.

If our children are told they are brats,
why would they try to be anything else?

So when I see sweet babies and little ones called 
I wonder if they will ever try to become anything else.

Why would they?

If my potential is capping off at "being a brat" 
I may as well live up to that potential, right?

So anyway,
don't be alarmed when your children become what you frequently refer to them as.
And don't say you weren't warned.


  1. Oh! Here, here! I know people who CONSTANTLY call their children naughty, brats, etc. And, first of all, it breaks my heart. Is that what you really think of your precious children?! Second of all, in my field of study, we work primarily with children, so I've learned a TON about child development. There was a study that has shown that children whose parents talk about them in a positive way (in front of them or not!) turn out far better adjusted, and with better opinions of themselves, than children with parents who talk about them negatively (again, in front of them or not!). No big surprise there.

  2. i sadly am one of "those" moms. i admit it. i am not proud of it. i actually struggle with it every day. I have a temper and with that comes words out of my mouth without thinking...just said so quickly because i am frustrated and overwhelmed. I cried after reading this. why? because i know it hurts them, and i know it cuts them down. but it is such a hard habit to break. i always tell brad that i feel like i am ruining these kids we have. i read my scriptures, i go to the tmple and i pray...but satan still finds this little door that i let open...somehow. It truly is that hardest thing for me. Thank you for your words and your example. I will try to not be one of "those" moms. I try every day and feel guilt most of the time because i can't pull through. I must try harder, because i want my kids to know how much i do love them and want them to be successful! thank you again for the inspirational words and cross your fingers for me! I always tell people that my sisters have challenges with the gospel but i truly have a firm belief in the's easy for me. so easy. i just can't see my life without it and i treasure it. My challenge is EVERYDAY, trying to be a patient loving mother who can speak kind words. i feel like i am sending mixed messages to my kids. i love the gospel, i believe in christ and all of his attributes, yet my actions are very contentious and angry. I will try and thank you again, for the reminder.

  3. Uh oh, I hope this post wasn't inspired by me and my children. :/ I'd never really thought of this, but I definitely need to be better. I call Matt a "stinker" all the time, and he really can be one, right? Guess it's time for some new names!