How ridiculous is the old children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Very ridiculous!

Words cut deeply. They hit hard. Some wounds left by words may never fully heal. Hearing the word again or remembering it can cause us to bleed again. 

People may assume their words didn’t hurt. They might think they made no impact at all. No wounds may show.

I’ve had three knee surgeries. When I was a sixth grader, I broke my right arm ice skating. I know bones do mend. They’re actually stronger in the very place where they broke. Physical healing is often much easier than emotional healing.

Parents’ words are especially powerful, dynamic, mighty, dominant, influential, authoritative, potent, compelling, commanding, forceful, important, charismatic, paramount, controlling, predominant, persuasive, moving, inspiring, robust, remembered, and more.

They can be gentle, full of compassion, respectful, sensitive, loving, accepting, empathetic, playful, hopeful, correcting, comforting, sincere, enthusiastic, honest, kind, optimistic, and more.

They can cause joy, peace, contentment, bonding, curiosity, freedom, courage, love, acceptance, compassion, respect, comfort, growth, inclusion, teachability, kindness, optimism, cheerfulness, playfulness, blessing, commitment, attention, progress, confidence, faith, gratitude, honesty, humility, hope, passion, transparency, and more.

Or. None. Of. The. Above.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, and words can surely hurt me.

Let’s. Be. Kind. And. Careful.

Stay-at-home orders may be adding to our fatigue. Frustrations with each other may build. There may be reasons that our words haven’t always been kind. But, as I like to say at Celebrate Kids, let’s not let our reasons become excuses for behaving badly. We can do this!