How Your Words Can Affect Your Children | As Told From Personal Experience

As a young mother, I feel like I have an advantage over things, in terms of remembering how I felt as a young girl and a teenager. I love my mother and admire her for everything she has done and the quality of life that she worked so hard for us to have. But I like many other girls have those "when I have a kid I'll never do that" moments. One of them I was reminded of while watching the documentary on Netflix about a giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean composed mainly of micro and macro pieces of plastic.

In high school, I was really into volunteering, park clean-ups and I loved my environmental science class. I credit my equally as passionate teachers for that, they all did their best to encourage us as best they could. After learning of the damage we were doing to our planet I went more in depth at home and became so passionate that I wanted to do something about it, I wanted to be the one to educate everyone in hopes of causing a ripple effect and help everyone realize that we needed to change. I knew that not only did I have to advocate change I had to show them change as well. I immediately went and told my parents, used big words in an attempt to impress them, and told them we needed to stop buying plastic bottles, not only were they poisoning the planet but they were poisoning our bodies too. I added the fact that they can also cause cancer. My mom simply replied everything causes cancer, there's nothing we or I could do about it.
As a kid, the words of our parents and encouragement from them mean the world. As adults, we forget the weight our words have on young impressionable minds. After hearing that I felt like the fire and the passion I had, had gone. It wasn't just the one time that left me feeling hopeless, it was the fact that I had always been thirsty for more, I always needed to know things no one else did, I thrived on being able to be the first one to tell someone things they generally didn't know. This led to a wealth of seemingly useless information, information you don't need to function in a routine lifestyle. I loved to share it with everyone and that got me the nickname the human dictionary in my family. I loved it but sometimes it would hurt when I would offer advice and the response I got wasn't the one I wanted. It left me feeling like if my family wouldn't listen then who would? I eventually stopped saying things that were on my mind. Yes, I know we are put in those situations and expected to thrive but after hearing so many times that you can't, that the problems are just too big and none of what you are trying to do won't help solve anything it starts to wear you down. The answer I would most often get was that you can't save the world, you're just one person. 

I realize now that that passion we had as little kids, that bit of anger we felt when we knew things had to change and we want to be the ones to do it, begins to slowly leave us as we get older. As we get older we begin to have different responsibilities and priorities like bills and work and deadlines. We're so distracted that we forget how important it is to sit down, listen, and encourage our little ones. Our fires and passions might have been put out by the responsibilities and realities of everyday life but if you take the time to foster it, ask a simple question to keep them talking to show them that you care, you never know what that could do. The possibilities you could be opening up in their ever-growing minds.

I never excelled at math or anything that had to do with numbers, but reading and writing I was always so good at because I had the chance to use my imagination. I crave that sometimes even now, the need to use the other side of my brain that lets me imagine and create things. I'm a very hands-on learner. So when it came time to pick a career in high school it was always you had to be an engineer, a doctor, a nurse, or a lawyer to become successful later on in life. None of that ever appealed to me. I aspired to be a writer, a great novelist, I had journals and journals filled with stories that I loved to lose myself in, but I was met with the "Writing isn't a career, it's a hobby." "You'll never make any money doing that." And in all honesty, that's how I lost my drive. I'm only now just finding it again. I believe that it's so important as a parent to be encouraging and helpful. To ask questions that lead to our kids being better people. To be their biggest cheerleaders. 

My mom and I 

My mom eventually grew with me too, she was always my biggest cheerleader. Her advice or comments weren't coming from a bad place in her heart. I know she only wanted and still wants what is best for me. She was just trying to prevent me from struggling the way she did when she had me. She was trying to protect me from the hurt. As I get older I realize that, because that's all I want to do with my little Camila. To shield her from anything that could hurt her. A mother's love and advice is always coming from personal experience. I know that if my mom went through it and saw me walking along the same path she would do anything in her power to prevent me from repeating her mistakes.

I honestly can't wait to be able to show my daughter the world. To open her mind in a way that I couldn't. Not only am I excited to teach her but I'm excited to learn with her. She's my first baby, I know there will be bumps in the road, but I also know that there will be beautiful memories. I already know she's beautiful, smart, and her smile could light up any room,  I want her to know that herself too. I want her to be able to have the confidence to achieve anything that she sets her mind to despite what anyone says. My wish for her is to be stronger and more confident than I ever was.