Words are important - Choose them wisely
I remember coming home from school to smells of cookies or freshly baked bread. Opening the door of the house, I knew within moments what was awaiting me in the kitchen; my Mom with an open ear and something to eat. One day I told a story that I can barely recall. It is one of those moments when you know you got scolded; you know why but you can’t recall the whole story. That day I used the word retarded to explain someone at school. My Mother immediately got a stern look on her face and said, “Please explain why would you choose to use that word!” I told my story. My Mom then said, “Do you know what the word retarded “actually" means?” I thought I did, but I didn’t! My Mom took the time to teach me. Both of my parents were big believers in teaching us the meanings and the etymology of words in the hope that we would use our words wisely.
One of my Mom’s pet peeves is the word real vs. biological. I have five adopted siblings and 5 biological siblings. I can’t tell you how often I get asked how many of my siblings are real. My Mom is still asked that question all the time. Her standard reply is , "My children are all real! They are all human, they breathe, they are all my children, and I love every one of them equally; now if you are asking who is biological, I can tell you that.” Anytime I heard anyone ask her that question I thought oh no they just used the wrong word..… and at the same time I smiled.
The past six months, I have watched the press and our politicians in total shock. Our children have heard name calling in speeches, on the news and if we are honest, we might have even been so upset about the outcome of these elections that we are guilty of using words that are cruel. We should teach our children to communicate with thought and dignity always choosing their words wisely, no matter where we live, regardless of politics or our views. My Mom and Dad did a great job of this, and I hope my children think that I am doing a good job as well. Words are important, educate your children and set an example.