Daily Archives: May 20, 2012

You may…

Every once in a while, I think to check myself for using vocabulary that makes what  I get to do sound very tedious and not very desirable.  And the reason for that is my choice of words.

Instead of saying “I get to write my blog this weekend”, it comes out “I have to write my blog this weekend”.  “I have to go to a graduation party on Sunday.”  “We need to go to a family reunion next week.”

How about you?  Do you find yourself putting a bit of a negative spin on the things you are doing in your lives?

Do you have to take the kids to the pool or do you get to take the kids to the pool?  Is there a dance recital you need to go to or is there a dance recital you get to go to?

Words can really change attitudes and responses – our own and our children’s. One word can make a difference in our outlook and kids will notice the note of positive anticipation in our words and that can be very contagious.

I like this gem of a suggestion I found in the book Beyond the Rainbow Bridge.  When you are telling a child to do something, try using the 3-letter word, “may”.  Authors Barbara J. Patterson and Pamela Bradley refer to “may” as “a magic word, not authoritarian or permissive … it contains no question to answer or ignore.  In the word may is the quality of privilege”.

For instance, rather than asking a child to please put on their pajamas, coaxing and cajoling, try “You may put your pajamas on now”.

I love that expression – the quality of privilege.  When we pay attention to the way we express ourselves, the language we are choosing, it can make ourselves and others recognize and appreciate the privilege of what we get to do in our daily lives.

“I’m so glad I got to write this blog!”

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