Speak Your Mind Even if Your Voice Shakes.
This week, as in every week, I found myself navigating the trials and tribulations of my children’s school experiences…Do you have a green & white outfit for ‘green and white pizza day’? Did you make sure to return your library book on time? Did I sign the agenda for you? Did you stand up for yourself?
My husband and I regularly have discussions with the babies about defending yourself, about standing up for yourself in situations where it might be difficult or awkward. For example, we’ve taught the kids to say, when someone hurts their feelings, “No thank-you, I don’t like that.” It’s simple and effective, and gives them a strong message to send to their peers about strength and propriety.
We have also taught them to say it with purpose, subtly but clearly, loudly but not shouting. It is interesting to see how their posture changes when they speak with purpose…try it. You’ll be amazed at how confident they get when they can hear, clearly, their own voice. It gives them power, and it lets them know that they need to be heard.
It has been a tough skill to work on, as none of us here are confrontational. Loud? Well, that goes without saying, with an Italian background! But all of us are uncomfortable expressing to others that we feel uncomfortable. As a mom, I have learned if I don’t develop the skill, my children won’t develop the skill. And that would be wrong.
I can remember having to talk in staff meetings, presentations, assemblies, and hating every minute of it. I especially hated it when I had an idea that was different. I would get nervous, sweaty, shaky, and my voice would quiver – and that was the most nerve-wracking moment, when the voice crackles. It made me feel like I sounded silly, and that others would not take me seriously. And that made me not say the things that I really wanted to say. And I don’t want that for my children.
This week, our daughter told someone at school that she didn’t like how they were treating her, and she followed it up with, “Can you see my face? Can you see that you have hurt my feelings?” When I went to pick her up at the end of the school day, she burst into tears (the one’s that she had been holding since this incident), and she expressed to me that she was A) Not going to cry in front of others, and B) So nervous and scared to tell someone she didn’t like what they were doing to her, but she did it anyway because she needed to tell them how she felt. And I thought that was pretty awesome. She stood up for herself, and she let people know that she matters. And then she felt her importance.
Speak Your Mind Even if Your Voice Shakes. Defend yourself when someone does something wrong or hurtful to you. Help the person in need. Be someone else’s voice when they cannot find their own words. Don’t let people do things to you that you don’t like. If you don’t tell someone you don’t like something, how do they know that you don’t like it? People will only do to you what you allow them to do. You have a voice, use it even if you’re scared.
Enjoy your moments with the ones who make your memories.