“You never … [pick up your clothes].”
“You make me … [furious].”
How many times a day do you find yourself saying or thinking these kinds of things about your kids? Or these kinds of things about yourself:
“I should … [be folding the piles of laundry right now].”
“I have to … [drive soccer carpool, again].”
These are examples of what communication experts call dis-empowering language: negative thoughts or words we may take for granted as part of our everyday vocabulary. It’s a type of language that leave us feeling more like pawns in someone else’s game, rather than masters of our own destiny. Often when we use dis-empowering language, it’s a direct reflection of dis-empowered feelings we may have, which commonly arise under stress. Although the statements above might seem harmless, dis-empowering language can have a profound effect on the feelings and behaviors of our children and ourselves.
Did you notice a slight loss of energy or increased discomfort while reading the phrases above? The way we express ourselves – our choice of words and our tone of voice – creates energy that either gives power or takes power away.
“When we speak,” “We exercise the power of language to transform reality.”
Because of its power to influence our beliefs, dis-empowering language can undermine our parenting goals. This happens because what we focus on determines most of what we see. For example, when a parent says to a child, “You’re always uncooperative,” parent and child log the comments as “data.” With repetition, this cycle of behavior and response reinforces in our mind and the child’s the belief that she’s uncooperative, although that is far from our goal.
Join me and my guest Ciara Sullivan on an enlightening conversation on the power of language. Ciara has an educational background in Applied Psychology with a focus on the fields of Cognitive Behavioral and Positive Psychology, as well as earning certifications in Clinical Hypnotherapy (C.Ht) and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). She’s also picked up many other tools along the way which have helped her to personally reach new levels of comfort and happiness, and have allowed her the wonderful opportunity to embrace her passion and bring both comfort and happiness to those she works with.