When our daughter, Kaitlyn, was a baby she had an odd self-soothing ritual. She thrust her right arm straight up in the air, cocked her head in the same direction, slightly upward and to the right, so it rested ever so gently in the crook of her own shoulder. Then, the fun began. Her mouth dropped wide open – big enough to drive a bus through it – her tongue slithered out as if she was trying to catch flies with it, and she started making this wet sound by rubbing her cheek against the little bit of tongue that happens to be left in her mouth.
Depending on what kind of mood she was in, this ritual could last anywhere between 5 and 15 minutes. We affectionately dubbed this, “The Hickey.”
Something we didn’t anticipate was the possibility of Kaitlyn picking up our catch phrase. That’s right; there is a slight possibility her first word was, in fact, “Hickey.” It would have been one thing had she said this only once. But alas, she repeated it … a number of times. Do your best to imagine a tiny one year old Asian girl running around, arm straight up in the air, shouting to everyone in her path, “HICKEY … HICKEY … HICKEY!
We learned something very important that day. Kids repeat what they hear. As parents we need to watch our words and choose them wisely.
My words will either build others up or tear others down.
What do my words say about me?
I’m making every effort to speak positive, uplifting words to my family.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. – James 3:10