09 March 2006

nickname shame

I once embarrassed my parents believe it or not. It's hard to comprehend that a small child could cause such a stir in a local retail store. At the time, I was no more than 5 or 6 years old and a troublemaker at best. My curiosities usually got the best of me in my search for 'Why?". I asked many questions and did my best to wrap my brain around anything that came my way.

On this particular occasion, I found myself separated from my parents at the grocery. Upon being found by a store employee, I was quickly whisked away to the service desk and was asked my name, so as to locate my parents. I had heard my name so many times, that of course, my reply was honest yet, so telling as to my character and curious nature.

The employee attempting to sequester a giggle then stated loudly over the store-wide intercom,

"Will the parents of Emma Monster please come to the front service desk. To the parents of Emma Monster please come to the service desk."

Do you catch yourself calling your children negative names, even in jest? Monsters, Turkey, Tornado, CrabbyPants? I really have to watch myself. It's easy to do but isn't our jobs as parents to reinforce positives and eliminate negatives? Try names like Sunshine, Happy Pants, Superman or Brainiac. It's amazing what difference it can make in your child.

As the story goes, my parents came to claim me amidst the giggles about the store. They were rather mortified that I really believe that to be my name. I was then, no longer Emma Anne Monster. It's such a good lesson. It reminds me In the movie Pretty Woman, Julia Roberts' character talks about how she ended up where she was at in life:

"People put you down, you start to believe it...the bad stuff is just easier to believe.."

I encourage you to give your children positive reinforcement. They might even believe it.

PS. I couldn't wait until Sunday to post this..... see you then!!!

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe