Do you listen to yourself? What do you say to your kids? Over and over and over again? How do you think those things compare to what they long to hear?

What we say and what we don’t say changes lives.

Did you get that?

What we say and what we don’t say changes lives.

All words are powerful. The words of parents are extremely powerful. Dynamic. Mighty. Dominant. Influential. Authoritative. Potent. Compelling. Commanding. Forceful. Important. Charismatic. Paramount. Controlling. Predominant. Persuasive. Moving. Inspiring. Robust. Remembered.

Paul and Jud Swets’ research determined there are five things teens want to hear. Let’s be fully present and aware so we can say these often.

The words have power, not just the thoughts. There’s no guarantee our teens know what we’re thinking. And, even if they know, the research reminds us they want to hear our thoughts. We must speak up! (Even though their research wasn’t done with kids, we know intuitively they want to hear these truths, too.)

Look for opportunities to say the following when they’re true:

“I’m proud of you.”

“You can always come to me with anything and I will listen.”

“I understand you.” or “I want to understand you.”

“I trust you.”

“I love you.”

Speak up! What we say and what we don’t say changes lives.

Did you read last Wednesday’s post? It’s about communication, too. The suggestions for listening and talking during times like end-of-year academic stress will serve you and your kids well. I think it’s one of my more important posts.