Our 4-year-old is learning letters; big letters, small letters, straight letters, curvy letters and how when put together they make up words. So the other day, when we were writing letters on our chalkboard, this came up:
Augustin: These are letters.
Mum: Letters make words.
Caius: And words make up stories.
Leave to Caius to make such a simple statement with an incredible punch. I am also amazed by what little boys say to me, but I know my little boy didn’t come up with this on his own, this is something he has heard from either me, his teacher, or on an episode of Ben Ten.
Which means that they are not just hearing the words I am saying, but they are actually listening to me…
…which got me to thinking about the words I choose, how I choose to use them and the incredible power I have to teach my little boys to choose the right words when telling their stories…
…which then got me thinking about Caius’ last rugby match. He is playing front row center (hooker) for his school’s U9’s rugby team (if you are confused, all these words were a new language to me as well, stick with me I will try to explain).
We have always tried to teach our children the basics, to demonstrate kindness: Don’t push, hit, grab, or tackle anyone.
When playing rugby kindness has nothing to do with it.
If you are like me and are completely unfamiliar with the game of rugby, it goes a little something like this: when playing offense the players are encouraged to get the ball (often by ripping it out of their opponent’s hands), run fast (often while using their free hand to push their opponent out of the way), and score points for their team, which is called a try not a goal.
When playing defense, you are to run after your opponent who has the ball and stop him from scoring a try (often by grabbing them, knocking them to the ground and then ripping the ball out of their hands, which then offense begins again).
As an enthusiastic parent, whose only want is to have her little boy perform well, I got a little caught up in the excitement of the game. I was happily cheering the boys on, when all of the sudden, I found myself shouting “GET HIM!” and then I promptly added “BRING HIM DOWN!”
Who was this person shouting?
I was surprised how quickly my words of encouragement turned into fighting words.
I tried to listen what was being shouted around me, but it just seem as foreign to me as the game I was watching.
So I quickly decided that I would just shout out “GO, GO, GO” whenever our team had the ball, until I pick up some better lingo.
On the rugby field, I am just a mom who wants her little boy to play his best (and avoid being at the bottom of the heap of boys in a scrum), but what I need to remember is that my little boys are not just hearing me, they are listening to me.
A fellow rugby mom said these wise words to me, “You don’t need to say a word to know that someone who loves you is there to support you.”
Well enough, but if the spirit of the game overwhelms you, don’t keep it back, always SHOUT out your WORDS of ENCOURAGEMENT.