"Using words to
grow a child is one of the most powerful parenting tool we have.
Start by thinking about how you phrase your communications. Could
you substitute "yes" in a way you can live with instead
of automatically saying "no"? Numerous studies have
been done on the hundreds of thousands of times a child hears
"no" in his or her young life over just the few thousands
of times they hear "yes". Consider your tone, your facial
expression and body language. Often that martyred "sigh"
of resignation that accompanies your "yes" is worse
than a "no". I'm guilty of this one as recently as last
night. I left off answering my email to drive Emily and a friend
(both fourteen) to a nearby restaurant. I'd agreed, said yes,
and then, when asked to take responsibility for my words, heaved
a sigh that could have been heard down the block!. Luckily Emily
and her friend didn't hear me, but I heard myself and I knew the
message I'd delivered. There is a way to use words and underline
them with joy and love that is so simple that we could recite
the phone book to our children and they would flourish. In fact,
I used to do practically just that! Julia and Emily and I would
talk gibberish to each other for hours using tone, facial expressions
and gestures to get our meaning across. It was an instantaneous
and clear way to prove to all of us how the power of words is
not the letters that make them up but the way they are expressed.
The prayers I wrote
each day for Julia and Emily and continue to write for girls and
women on this web site are words to and for their souls
verses, but always affirmations about how loved and loving they
are. I took words and organized them into what Buddhists call
"metta": powerful phrases of lovingkindness. I hope
these prayers give you "metta" as they have other girls
and moms. Love, Celia" [top]
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"I am eighteen
years old now and about to graduate high school, so what my mother
did for me when I was 12 when she wrote me all those prayers and
put them on my pillow seems like a long time before. But at the
time they helped me through some problems that seemed huge. Even
though I was really nervous about letting the whole world read
them, I'm glad I did because they really are about problems all
girls have. My mom and I have always been close. Ever since I
was a little girl it seems we could talk and act silly together.
That's not to say we don't have our differences. She gets on my
nerves and we argue and I know some times I make her crazy, but
basically we get along pretty well. But during those times when
I was twelve, I just felt so alone and unhappy that I believed
no one could understand what I was going through including her.
So I stopped talking to her as much. Plus it seemed that we never
had time to be alone together. She was always working or doing
other stuff and I would come home and have sports or violin or
have to walk the dog and then do homework. When I asked her to
write me a new prayer I had no idea what would happen. The next
night I found a folded piece of paper on my pillow. After that
every night there was a new prayer-poem on my pillow about problems.
The prayers gave me something to look forward to. They were like
a special kiss goodnight that would help me through the next day.
They also taught me that there are lots of ways to talk to God
besides saying a prayer that you memorize and repeat over and
over again. I really liked that they were short and easy to remember.
And I hope you do too. Sometimes my mom still writes me prayers
except now she spends most of her time writing prayers for girls
and other moms on her web site. And every time I read one, I feel
like for that moment, my mom and I are talking and being together
again just like when I was a little kid. Love, Julia" [top]
"When I was nine
years old, I started to feel like my mom and I were not spending
as much time together as I had wished. I would come home from
school and she would be working and we would not have a chance
to talk to each other for a good amount of time. Then I would
be doing my homework and watch TV and before I knew it, it was
time to go to bed. I would usually be too tired to talk for a
long time. Then I noticed that sometimes Julia, my older sister,
was reading little slips of paper with poems on them. The moment
I read one, I wanted mom to write them for me too.
So I asked my mom if
she could write prayers for me like she did Julia and she said
yes. Every night I would ask for something specific. She would
put the slips of paper on my pillow and each one told me something
new and different about myself and how to solve my problems with
God's help. Like if I was having trouble getting to sleep at night,
or was having trouble with my friends, or was afraid that someone
would break into our house while I was lone, or especially about
all the changes I felt growing up. Sometimes I told her about
my feelings of being scared when she or my dad went away. She
would tell me in the prayer that everything would be okay.
I think these prayers
will help you if you read them and pretend it's you talking to
yourself and God. I'm fourteen now and I still read them and mom
still writes them for me. I hope they make you feel better and
make your worries easier to handle. Love, Emily." [top]