Funny Choice of Words: Language and How We Can Better Use It


Whether simple or a few choice words, what we say and how we say it can define a life or save a nation. That age-old analogy: “The pen is mightier than the sword” so simply explains the weight and depth that the written word and, even more so, spoken word possess. Being a parent and one that’s especially thoughtful about communication brings a level of self-evolution that only oneself can encourage and nurture. 

If we know anything as women and human beings in general, perception is everything. What we are frequently reminded of from “southern grace” is that delivery is equally important. The way we form the phrases and the order in which we place the words make all the difference. So if the words we use can paint a picture and the difference is a crude sketch versus a Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which would YOU choose?

Words can mimic precisely that sentiment. We should use them to do good. We should be especially mindful of the messaging we are giving to our kids. Directly and indirectly. We should take ownership of our feelings and reactions. When times get tough, and things get intense, lighten the mood and laugh at yourself a little bit. 

What do I mean? Here are some scenarios…

Instead of saying: “You’re driving me crazy!” how about saying, “I’m losing my mind!” Say it with a funny voice or with your eyes crossed.

Instead of NO! How about “that doesn’t seem like a good idea.” There is a time for NO! And other times, there is an opportunity to encourage your child through the thought process. “Don’t do that!”  can be replaced by: “Your sister likes to reach for your glasses. If you put them there at the edge of the bed, she will make her way there. When you think about it in those terms, does that seem like a good idea?” Don’t be afraid to add a little drama to it with a splash of humor. You’ll be surprised how the sound of laughter quickly replaces a heated moment. It helps EVERYONE involved!

And as I write this, I’ve already lost my sh** for the day. Guilty!

It wasn’t pretty. I’m not proud of it. But when good intentions fail us, we are allowed to pick up the fragmented pieces, glue them back together and polish the ever fragile porcelain again. How we deal in the aftermath of a complete break is our best chance yet. A time to show our kids that we are all human. That we make mistakes. That we lose ourselves in the throes of disappointment. But that every single time, there is a chance to show back up. Do better. Be better. To talk through what went wrong. To truly express our feelings. And to hug it out. 

The important thing is to own it together. And then heal together. 

The other thing that I do and many times is the way that helps me best express myself in a thoughtful and especially loving way is when I write letters. The old-fashioned kind. In my handwriting. I think it marks the heart and mind of my eight-year-old. It also teaches her the practice of doing the same because there isn’t a time that she receives a letter that she doesn’t write back immediately. She herself is incredibly thoughtful and always so kind.

Young girl writing a letter

Her words ALWAYS make me feel at peace.

It’s something your child can save in a box, or even you can save for a rainy day. I even have an especially long one saved on my phone, the only one written that way. I can retrieve it with a couple of swipes, and it’s on hand when needed at a moment’s notice. Not because words ever fail me, but because I want the right words no matter the day I’m having. 

Do you write love letters to your kids? It’s worth a thought and a try!

It doesn’t matter how many times we tell them. “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” always accompanied by a “no matter what!” can never be said enough. Say it last thing at night, first thing in the morning, after school, during dinner, through tears or laughs. Make it a practice in your home to do it often. Don’t get lost in the monotony of parenting and life. It counts every time and becomes a cornerstone of your existence. So on those bad days when all the things have hit the fan…you can find grounding in the daily reminder to your children and yourself. And a little extra self-love in the same vein never hurt anybody! 

Happy mom with her female child in continuous line art drawing style. Minimalist black linear sketch isolated on white background. Vector illustrationDon’t forget, “I love you, and I’m proud of you no matter what!”

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Bianca Bain Villegas arrived to Pensacola in 2015 and readily embraced the local culture and history. She and her husband feel genuinely grateful for the opportunity to raise their two young daughters here. Originally from Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia, her Caribbean heritage and worldly ideology imparted to her by her parents and extended family, largely influence the outlook she has on parenting, life and the experiences that they afford. Having family and friends that live around the world and having completed her education in London and Madrid, only furthers her love of travel, different cultures and the need to have a deeper understanding of it all. Locally, you can find Bianca actively participating in historic preservation, neighborhood action, or service in the community through civic engagement. Her belief is that nurturing a community is as important as the families we choose to raise in our homes - we get back what we put out.


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