This week is all about the “L” word. Love. Words are powerful, and the word love might be the most powerful of them all. When you hear that someone loves you, it can change everything, especially how you feel about yourself.
Words are especially impactful to our kids, who are still figuring out who they are. In their formative years, what you say to your child—or don’t say—can make or break them.
I recently had a conversation with my friend Michael Jr. for my Parenting Great Kids podcast. Michael Jr. is an actor, comedian, and father of four. While we were talking, he recalled a time he overheard his father say something about him that he believes helped direct his life’s path.
Michael Jr. grew up in a home that was not unfamiliar to drug use. He recalls coming home one day when he was young and seeing his father’s friend sitting on their front porch, smoking marijuana. Later, Michael overheard the friend apologize to his father for smoking in front of his son.
To that, Michael’s dad replied, “My son isn’t like you. He would never do drugs. He’s way too smart for that.”
Michael said that one sentence made him feel like a superhero, and because of what his dad said, he to this day has never done drugs—something so rampant in the entertainment culture in which he makes his living.
Parents, listen to this: Your child will become what you believe he is. If you tell him you love him, he will believe he is loved. If you fail to do this, he will wonder if he is. That’s just how it is with kids.