Isn’t it incredible how powerful a word can be to a child? “You are a bad kid” sticks and hurts. I can honestly tell you that I don’t remember anyone ever telling me that when I was growing up, and I am sure there were many times they could have said that and worse about my behaviour.
And what about, “You are kind”. Just saying the word ‘kind’ and hearing it from someone else, makes my heart smile…this is the type of smile that starts in my heart and slowly makes its way up to the corners of my mouth and into my soul. I remember every person in my life that told me I was kind; my mom especially. Even on days when I didn’t feel so kind, I could recall her words and remember that I am kind and I am doing my best.
I struggle now as a parent with the words that our kids hear. I wonder how it will affect them long-term and if they will have enough good words in their soul to get them through the worst of days.
We have four kids…two who came into our lives through birth and two through love. It feels so cold and alien to call our kids bio-kids and foster-kids. To separate them like this just doesn’t seem right. And I can tell you, the kids don’t like it either. When you think of foster kids, what do you think? Maybe it is just my preconception of the word ‘foster’, but just maybe it is a label that doesn’t need to be used anymore. Maybe we need to change this word.
What would happen if we didn’t raise foster kids, but pre-loved kids or just, loved kids? Pre-loved means that they were loved by other people before we met them. They were loved and cherished at one point in their lives. I know our kids were celebrated when they were born, I know that someone in their life loved them and could see how amazing they were. And how they ended up with us has nothing to do with someone else not loving them…but someone else who made some mistakes and didn’t know any better, or didn’t have the support behind them to get help when they needed it, or maybe they didn’t have someone in their life fill their soul with kind words. I know that every pre-loved kid in the world had someone, at some point, love them dearly and want only the best for them.
In choosing my words today, I will not choose “foster” when I talk about the kids, I will use loved, whether it be loved, or pre-loved, they all deserve the best words we can give them. No more labels…just loved.
What words need an upgrade in your life?