Wednesday: Mid Week Ramblings—The Power of Labels

Whenever we label our children, we severely limit their space.

Right now i am re-reading chapter 7 of Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel (the book I reviewed on Saturday) and found something I terribly need to work on.

Whenever we label our children, we severely limit their space.

I had never thought of this before reading his book, the danger and power of labelling our children. The way we label things, explain things, etc. to our children “shapes your world and the worlds of each of your children.”

The part that really struck home with me was when Hal said, “By placing limits on our own freedom, we thereby create and honor theirs. When it comes to our language, especially the words we use about our children, we again need to limit our freedom. We simply do to much talking about them. Too much comparison. Too much categorization. Too much prognostication. And it’s time to stop.”

He continues on to say, “we need to take a very hard look at our own anxiety-driven need to label our child’s tendencies and predict our child’s destiny.”

I agree with Hal, when I think back on my life and upbringing labels were among one of the most “powerful forces to shape our relationship with the world.”

Not all labels sound bad:

Strong-willed

Peacemaker

Skinny

The Star

Laid-back

Strong-Willed

Beautiful

Funny

Some are negative no-brainers:
Troublemaker

Drama Queen

Moody

High Maintenance

Lazy

The Black Sheep

As a child, I was called the peace maker. Looking back I can see how this affected my relationships with people (in good and bad ways), my decision making (also again in good and bad ways), my mate selection, career choose, and how I see it still stuck to me today.

What you say ABOUT your kids is more important than what you say TO them

“What we do with any repeated label, no matter how positive, is eliminate our children’s freedom to be evolving, developing human beings. What we much learn as parents is to fight for our children’s right to evolve. We must fight for each child’s right to create his or her own uniqueness in the world. What a gift we give our children by refusing to stunt their personal development by foisting some “personality” (or career for that matter) on them. What a gift we can give by stubbornly refusing to compare them with their siblings and not allowing extended family members to label or categorize them. We give them the gift of discovery.”

I am starting now, I will stubbornly refuse to compare my children, positively or negatively label them. I did not realize how much I do it and I need to kick the habit now.

Wondering how to go about changing your vocabulary? Or how to become an advocate of for your child’s evolution in the RIGHT way?

Well… you are just going to have to get the book. I can’t give EVERYTHING away :)

Scream Free Parenting by Hal Runkel available at www.screamfreeparenting.com or amazon.com

It will be a good investment.


labels

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