Our WORDS and our EYES both send messages to our children every day.
What messages are you sending?
Which do you think cuts deeper on your child's spirit?
For many years as a mom, I had rules for my mouth - no calling names, no saying, "shut up," no saying "you always ___" or "you never ___." I should have had more mouth rules, but that isn't the point of this post.
What I really want to discuss in this post is the messages we moms send with our eyes.
I must confess that I did not have mom EYE RULES until recently. That is very regrettable because as I look back on my parent/child relationships with my seven children, I think dishonoring them with my eyes was very harmful. It wasn't a conscious choice I made, but I was also not keeping my eyes in check.
There were many times I could have given a gentle look that said, "I know this is really hard, but come on and step up to do this hard thing. You've got this." That's what my eyes could have said. Instead, they were too often more like threatening eyes or eyes that gave disapproval. Looking back, I am thinking that my eyes may have played a role in my relationships with my kids and even with their self-image. We can send a lot of disapproving looks, angry looks, condemning looks, and think that it is perfectly fine for us to do that when actually our eyes are saying messages we would never allow ourselves to say with our mouth.
When you were growing up, if your parents' words and eyes didn't send the same message, which did you tend to believe- their mouth or their eyes?
Do you have any rules for your eyes or for your mouth?
What can we do when our mouth and our eyes are sending two opposite messages? Remember, our children are longing for certain messages from their parents - "Am I treasured?" and "Do I belong?" are two of the questions our children's hearts are asking. We are answering those questions with our attitudes, actions, and words. Our eyes reveal our attitude. Watch your eyes.
I am NOT suggesting that we should never be stern with our eyes or voice. There is certainly a time for firmness as a parent. I just wish I would have REGULATED my eyes better. I wish it would have been more on the forefront of my mind that I AM SENDING MESSAGES of love or dishonor with my eyes to my children. Eyes matter too.
(Join the Conversation in our Facebook group, Intentional Mom Strong Family. I would love to hear your thoughts and examples - positive and negative- about the importance of parental looks from your childhood or from your parenting. I am working on this section of my book at this time, and I would love to include your thoughts and examples regarding this issue).
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