"You are funny smart clever kind".
F.S.C.K. It looks like another four letter word I'm quite fond of as well.
This all started because I want my kids to know without a shadow of a doubt that they are so much more than their looks. Their being cute. Handsome or pretty. Because as all kids are, they are cute. And people will tell them that. A lot. But they are so much more.
You are funny smart clever kind.
This phrase I repeat to my kids. You are funny smart clever kind. This phrase I started practicing before they were born. This phrase my parents didn't say exactly, but other words were said with similar effect. My parents say incredible things to me today about my character and my life. And I hope I do the same for them. This phrase has all the things I wanted to hear my whole life from so many people and relationships and never did.
This phrase we could all stand to hear more of as adults.
This phrase I say to myself on a daily basis in the mirror a la Stuart Smalley.
This phrase I try to impart to my friends and family and even just random acquaintances in some way shape or form often.
Because we all so desperately need to hear it.
We need to treat each other, and more importantly ourselves, with the same kindness and affirmation that we give our kids. How else will they believe it? How else are they to believe what we say to them if we don't believe it ourselves?
As parents we want our kids to believe they can do or be anything. And they can. They absolutely can. As can we.
The words we say the words we speak the words we pass down to them are our words. Our heart. Our legacy.
Let's talk about these words.
Funny - My boy tries to imitate voices and say funny things to make us laugh. Already winning. My girl touches her nose in a certain way to make a silly nasally echoing sound that we laughed for a good 10 minutes about the other day. I am funny because I can take a really crappy situation and make you laugh about it. I can make a witty remark at just the right moment and take all the tension out of the room. I can hold a room's attention with my banter even when sometimes that is the most uncomfortable place for me to be. I can still do it. This skill has served me incredibly well throughout my life and I just keep getting funnier. Kids, man. They give you great material. FUNNY.
Smart - My kids are smart. Now, you know I'm bragging but I will also brag about your kids too. Because they are. Kids are freaking incredible. With the amount of shit they pick up and learn every day it's a wonder their heads just don't LITERALLY EXPLODE. Now I've never been a super smart book learner, but man can I work life. My smarts are with people and with life. I am a survivor and if that ain't smart I don't know what is. But also, BOOKS AND EDUCATION. The older I get the more I appreciate it. SMART.
Clever - If you could see me at bedtime with these kids. On nights when I have to go up to their room more than once they have me crouch on the floor with them for "ONE MORE TISS MAMA. ONE MORE HUG" And that turns into 717 more. Because they know I cannot refuse them. CLEVER. Clever goes along with smart and funny because you have to be clever to come up with ways to make life work for you. I've turned buckets full of lemons into gallons of freaking lemonade and I will do so forever because that is how you not only get through life but are able to be happy joyous and free. CLEVER.
Kind - Perhaps most important. My kids are kind to each other on ridiculous levels. They help each other up and they give a pat on the back when needed. They tell little inside jokes and they bring each other their safety. Their comfort. Their joy. They ask us if we are okay. They tell us that we are funny and nice and pretty and cute. They say please and thank you and excuse me. They are incredibly kind to animals. And babies. We had a baby at our house over the weekend and my kids put their hands in front of that baby's mouth and nose as they would a dog for him to sniff them. HA! If there's anything I hope to brag about with my kids, it's their kindness. Not their brains and not their success on a typical level, but their success in the world of being kind. THAT IS BRAG WORTHY. I've said a million times, if my kids are compassionate and kind, I will have felt as though my bringing them into the world was not entirely selfish. Kindness adds to the world. I took from the world for a period of time and now I give. Now I try to pass it on wherever I can because kindness is free and it benefits everyone. KIND.
We all know what it feels like to be stung by words. To be struck down right where you stand from the pain. From the thick full loaded weight of words that throttle us against a wall feeling as though we will be stuck there forever. Like velcro. For once you hear a certain thing directed at you, you don't ever forget it. And not one among of us is left unscathed. There is always someone in our life, whether it be a family member or a teacher, a friend or an enemy, a boss or a child, somebody hurls words at us that we never fully recover from. We just try to combat it as best we can with all the positive words and keep going on moving forward with our light coat of protective self aware armor.
We can overcome. We can persevere. We can be anything we believe ourselves to be.
They always say the negative words are far more powerful than the positive words. I am not so sure about that. When practiced on a regular daily basis, my self esteem, my self love has grown immeasurably. I no longer rely on anyone else to tell me my worth. To tell me if I am funny smart clever kind. I tell myself. Because I am. The power of daily affirmation is really incredible if you stick with it. It's transformative.
Now just think what that means for our kids! For our loved ones. For our employees and our neighbors. It means compassion and understanding and a better world little by little.
If we live it ourselves our kids see it. They see it and they hear it and then they BELIEVE IT AND PRACTICE IT THEMSELVES. Passing it on.
We are all many many things. We are multi faceted, we humans. And not all of our facets are positive and loving. But we must embrace the ugly along with the beautiful. We are all these things and more and it's OKAY.
Also, it's okay to say my kids are cute. THEY ARE CUTE. And I won't ever act like that's a bad thing. I mean, who doesn't want to be cute, right? I like to be cute. YOU like to be cute. And it's not a bad thing.
But first and foremost, YOU ARE FUNNY SMART CLEVER KIND. The words we use matter.
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