I was chatting recently with one of my mom friends about the concept of having a phrase that you routinely say to your child to instill your family values. My friend has an 18-month old and a 4-year old; she has been teaching them both the phrase “be kind and be brave” but she wasn’t quite sure it was sinking in, until she went to pick up her 4-year old from preschool and the teacher told her that another kid in class was having a rough day and my friend’s little guy said to the other kid “it will be OK, just be kind and be brave.” Nothing like that for confirmation that what we teach our littles really does sink in!
Now, I fully appreciate that reciting a phrase to a four month old will have little to no effect, but I’m a planner so I’ve been giving it some thought and the phrase “remember who you are” keeps coming to mind.
We had a very dear family friend pass away last July after a relatively short battle with cancer. Her husband was the pastor who married my husband and me; she was my Aunt’s best friend; she passed away on my wedding anniversary AND it turns out we conceived our daughter on the day of her memorial service. Of course I didn’t know during her memorial service that I was pregnant, but something that her sons shared during this service stuck with me – when they left the house she always said to them “remember who you are.”
I aim to raise our daughter with a solid moral compass, to know right from wrong, to be a leader and to be compassionate. If I raise her with these traits and instill in her that she needs to remember who she is, then it is my hope that when she is faced with underage drinking, or witnesses girls picking on a new kid in school, that she will remember who SHE is and make the decision to stay true to herself and not follow the pack down the wrong path.
Perhaps when I’ve clocked more mothering hours than just four month’s worth I will come up with a new phrase that I want to instill in her, but for now, I think this about sums it up!
I’d love to hear from you! What phrases do you routinely say to your kiddos to instill your family values?