Sticks, Stones and Words that Hurt You
A child retorts, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words cannot hurt me,” but it is not true. The power of words is generally underestimated. Words can both preserve and injure.
Children’s brains are undeveloped when they are very young. Their frontal lobes are less wrinkled, serving as less effective filters. One speaking to a child is communicating directly with their subconscious mind. The word choice, vocal tone and body language of an adult interact in ways that exert a very direct and permanent effect on children’s behaviors. This, in effect, writes the software of the subconscious mind that will influence future behaviors as well.
Teachers and parents need to be sensitive to what they say to children and how they say it. Beliefs and value systems are etched into the subconscious from childhood.
Emotion accompanying a message becomes the energy that fuels a resulting behavior for the rest of the child’s life. The impact of adults on how children’s future lives creates a huge responsibility; a responsibility many, unfortunately, are clueless about.