Sunday, March 13, 2011
The Right Words...
I am amazed by the power of words.
I was in 8th grade getting ready to choose electives for high school. I wanted to learn Spanish. I was born and raised most of my life in San Antonio, Texas and I just knew that Spanish was a language that would be a benefit to know. When I approached a member of my family, I was told, "You are not that smart. Just focus on being pretty and getting married." That family member walked out of the room and I sunk down into the abominable hole of self doubt.
I questioned my intelligence. I knew my family member would not tell me an untruth. So right then and there I decided since I was not intelligent that there was no need to study...ANYTHING. I never studied again...why bother? That simple sentence truly impacted my thinking at a very early age.
I made good grades but never to my true potential. True I failed Algebra I - but gosh I had 6 teachers in one year! The next year I was required to take it again. I had a 98 average for the year. My school counselor said I should major in math...NO WAY. I was done with any type of math...over...pergatory penance performed...my focus was clear...just get out of high school...for me it was boring...hmm that's interesting since I never ever studied...my text books were simply taken to class and dumped in my locker afterwards.
After graduation from high school and with the experience of "business" classes under my belt I went job hunting. Well, I looked like I was 12 years old and no working experience so my family member decided I should go to college.
I enrolled and on the drive home my family member told me that I better study because he had paid-Paid-PAID for these courses. So from that statement I knew I could not disappoint him. I studied...I excelled...with a 3.9 GPA!
My family member looked at my grades and exclaimed, "You're smart!" I was so proud.
The negative comments were to come up time and again throughout my life...and they always brought me emotionally back to the young 8th grader...
So with my own kids I decided never NEVER to repeat what was done to me...I never believed in false praise...BUT I DO BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF THE RIGHT WORDS! I always told them they were loved, I was proud of them, they would determine their best effort not me AND that I believed in them.
So far this mindset has served my children well! My oldest daughter excelled in school as a child and as a young adult...she has her BACHELORS degree from Texas State University...oh by the way she is Profoundly Deaf. She works for the State of Texas and her new goal is her MSW so that she may further her career and help even more people! My youngest daughter is still in high school and throughout the years she has always excelled, her goals change from a K-grade 3 teacher to a Pediatric Physical Therapist..I know whatever she chooses she will do well...because she like her sister knew the power of the RIGHT words from their parents!
Is there a moral to this story? Yes, Ethics, Honesty, Recognition of their Intelligence, Trust, Accountability, Dedication to Task, a Healthy Self Esteem, Humor, Love, Respect, Understanding, Praise for their best effort, the Right to an Equal Voice and Leading by Example are the emotional foods that feed a healthy person throughout life!
Savor the opportunity to be a positive influence in another persons life because the plot may thicken at times but the conclusion is oh so rewarding!
Please go visit a blogger I've just met. Jane's story defines the "Right Words"! Her journey defines courage, honesty, integrity and most of all LOVE! You will find her blog here!