Raising children is no joke. How quickly we go from a baby shower and picking out paint colors for the nursery to an actual human being placed in our arms. There truly is no way to prepare for that small being. But the lack of preparation does not stop there. That adorable, snuggly newborn will soon start walking. And then talking. And before you know it, you will have a toddler with strong opinions. Then perhaps a sibling comes along. With each of these new stages, we experience immense joy as we see our children grow. But we also experience new challenges. I often find myself looking for that “mom manual” that tells me what I’m supposed to be doing in each situation; I’ve yet to find it. So I decided to attempt to create my own.
My first year of teaching, my mentor saw a child running in the hallway, and instead of saying “don’t run” she said “walk.” While they mean the same thing, the nuanced difference between “don’t run” and “walk” opened my eyes and ears to the impact words have on our children. The words we use, and the words we don’t, have an unbelievable impact on our children’s behavior.
I have always been drawn to children. Growing up I volunteered in our church nursery, babysat, coached children’s sports teams, and always found myself wanting to be around kids. I went to college knowing I wanted to study education. I got a degree from Vanderbilt in special education and a masters degree from Hunter College in NYC in early childhood special education. I have attended many professional development trainings throughout my 10+ years as an elementary school teacher and current part time instructional coach in an elementary school. I also read everything I can get my hands on about children and their development. All of this has helped me develop this particular interest in language and its effect on children’s behavior.
This love of language + the gift of patience from my dad, have given me the ability to enjoy my children more. I’m excited to share what works — most of the time — for me and my kids. Being a parent is the toughest job in the world; we’re all in this together.