When I hear children whisper to themselves “I can do this,” I know that sometime in their life, an adult has whispered to them “you can do this.” I know that in their life there are adults that take chances, leap without nets, and take on challenges.

When I hear children whisper to themselves “I am stupid,”  I know that sometime in their life, an adult has whispered to themselves “I am stupid,” or sometimes an adult has shouted it in anger toward that child or toward another adult.

I often hear my own words repeated back to me, “How are YOU feeling about that?

I see my actions, and all of your actions play out in theirs.

In my opinion, we have very few more important roles as adults, than influencing children that we interact with. It doesn’t matter to me if you are their parent, their teacher, their coach, their mentor, their neighbor, or like me, their therapist.

Children are mirrors. And what they reflect back to us,  are our own actions. When I have children acting out with dolls in my dollhouse, I can see the reflection of their home. Of their hearts. Of every interaction they have absorbed.

And trust me, even though you may believe they are not listening. . . they hear every word.

Use them carefully.

“Careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do, children will see and learn. Children may not obey, but children will listen. Children will look to you for which way to turn, to learn what to be. Careful before you say ‘Listen to me,’…children will listen.” ~from the musical “Into the Woods”


Linked up with Group Blogging Experience 2, the prompt this week was “Mirror.”

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18 Responses to Mirrors

  1. Some of the truest words I’ve ever heard:

    “Children learn what they live.”

    Great post!
    Sharon Greenthal recently posted..Marriage – Come Rain or Come ShineMy Profile

  2. I see it all the time with my kids. It’s always amazing what little things they absorb.

    Just the other day, my 3 year old told me how he was able to do well potty training because he never gives up. NEVER gives up. It made me so happy because I had told him not to feel bad when he doesn’t quite make it to the bathroom. Potty training’s tough!

    Of course, we all need to be cautious about what we say in front of kids. It’s the bad stuff that we may not even mean that they remember.

  3. Excellent post and so true! I’ve recently had to change “crap” to “crackers”. 😉

  4. So powerful. Thank you for this reminder.

  5. Becky says:

    Wonderful post! I love Into the Woods, particularly that song. And I see the same thing you do. It breaks my heart when I hear any – but especially my own – child say “I can’t”. Because I want to know who told him that?! And then maybe kick that person in the shins. Without him seeing it, of course, ’cause I sure wouldn’t want him to mirror that behavior 😉
    Becky recently posted..Brown BearMy Profile

  6. jen says:

    Great words to live by for all parents and teachers.
    jen recently posted..live in the sunshineMy Profile

  7. Kristen says:

    I have been pretty emotional the last month. I can’t really say why but this post just pushed me over the edge. What a beautiful reminder of what adults can be to the children not only in their lives but the world around them. Thank you for this!

  8. Brandie says:

    Thank you for the lovely comment on my blog, Dream Custom Artwork. I appreciate you helping to make my SITS day so special! I enjoyed my visit here and will be back to read more soon!
    Brandie recently posted..PrayerMy Profile

  9. Jackie says:

    You are so right Jenn. Children live by what they learn, those words whispered and shouted, those words of praise and words of reprimand, and everything in between. Those words make an impact!
    Jackie recently posted..Too LateMy Profile

  10. Tricia says:

    So so true. I’m always amazed at the things my daughter just picks up. It’s scary sometimes. But every time I hear her repeat after me or watch her play mimic something we’ve done recently, I remember to be oh so careful about our time together.

  11. Anne says:

    I’m a teacher and your post rings loud and clear to me. Children do live the way we live our lives. Adults have so much responsibility and just the thought that we can make young people believe in themselves and become whoever they want to be is amazing. Just found your blog and enjoyed reading your thoughts.
    Anne recently posted..First LoveMy Profile

  12. Sela Toki says:

    Powerful post right here. As a parent I know how important it is to be a good role model to my children. They absorb every little detail even though they might seem like they’re not paying attention. Thank you for reminding me.
    Sela Toki recently posted..No PassionMy Profile

  13. misssrobin says:

    Beautifully said. I have had way too many moments when I hear one of my children say something I know they got from me. Those moments have served as wake up calls, and I have tried to do better.

    I am grateful for every heart you touch through therapy. Having had lots of therapy myself, I know what that means to a soul. You are doing important work.
    misssrobin recently posted..I Was Too Embarrassed to Say AnythingMy Profile

  14. Thank you for the reminder. Sometimes I lose my patience and quickly regret it because I know my actions will be emulated. I’ve been counting to 10 and it really does work.
    Tara @ secretsofamomaholic.com recently posted..In a New York state of mind- even in Puerto Rico!My Profile

  15. Beth says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I absolutely believe that the things we say to children stay with them to one degree or another, all throughout their lives. Something to consider when dealing with the children in our lives and as parents, when deciding which people we allow to be important influences in the lives of our young children.
    Beth recently posted..Boobs and Hips and Big Pouty LipsMy Profile

  16. This is so true. Also if you want to know how their teachers are doing – ask the kids to run a mock class – you might be surprised or shocked as the case may be!
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Polishing My MirrorMy Profile

  17. I agree with you 100%! Children grow into the names they are called…Yes, be so very careful with your words parents♡.

    Very nice and important post!

  18. Anna says:

    You are so right! Children are mirrors, we have a HUGE responsibility!

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