Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

The Atomic Weight of Words

I love to watch my daughter swim.
Photo: Laura Fries

Among so many other virtues, we all hope that our kids are thoughtful. We want them to absorb the world around them, understand the meaning and importance of words and actions. We want them to comprehend life. Trouble is, they already do—kids are notorious sponges—soaking in every nuance around them.

Like most parents, I try to keep it appropriate and affirmative. It never really occurred to me that I may not be saying the words my daughter needs to hear, though. Special education teacher and author Rachel Macy Stafford makes a wonderful case for simple but crucial affirmations in her article, “Six Words You Should Say Today.” The article particularly hit home for me, as I also tend to think more talking,  more information, more interaction is the key. But does my need to analyze everything come off as criticism? I realize now that all along, I haven’t been saying what I have really been feeling, and that needs to change. Have you?