Monday, October 1, 2007

Nourishing Words

One night during our Ashurst family reunion last March, we passed out otter pops to the kids. My brother Joe said to his kids, "Have as many as you want." What radical concept!, I thought. As many as you want? I've said "only one" or, in a more generous mood, "not too many," but "as many as you want"? Never.

A few months later a read a magazine article (in Wondertime magazine, which I highly recommend) about saying to your children, "Take your time." I never say that. "Hurry up" I say about 50 times a day.

So I've hatched a new plan: I'm going to compile a list of wonderful phrases that would nourish our children with peace and joy but that we never get around to saying. I'm going to make them into a cute little gift book, and my super talented sister-in-law Kelly is going to illustrate it.

So brainstorm with me. Add to this list of wonderful nourishing things to say to your children:

I'm listening.
Take your time.
There's plenty.
Just try again.
Have all you want.
I'm sorry.
I love you.
Thank you.
Tell me about it.
I can help you.
That's normal.
You're good at that.

What else??


  1. What a fun blog!

    Here are a few of my ideas:

    "What do you think?"
    "How can we fix it?"
    "You choose what we do."
    "Show me."

    Emily :)

  2. What a good idea. What about:

    I know how you feel

  3. Joe says:

    I'm flattered. How about:
    You can do it
    You can do whatever you want (I usually follow this one up with a discussion of the consequences - negative or positive - of the decision being made)

  4. My brother-in-law added:
    If a kid was writing these, they would look like this:

    "Here, have a wii."
    "Yes, you can play as long as you want"
    "Ice cream for dinner."
    "Ice cream for breakfast"
    "Ice cream for lunch."
    "Don't go to bed."
    "Don't get out of bed."
    "Here is another wii."
    "Have some candy."
    "Have some more candy."
    "Tomorrow is Christmas."
    "Today is Christmas too."
    "The day after is your birthday, and Christmas."

  5. Would you like me to take you on a hike?

  6. Why don't you choose a book for us to read?

    Can I sit down next to you?

    That was fun! Let's do it again!

    Run around the house. (Although I remember Mom making one of "the boys" do this as punishment for being a little too exuberant.)

    Once upon a time...

    How about another cookie?

    Can I lay in your bed too?

    Jump in a puddle -you'll get all wet!

    Let's go to the park.

    You must have tried really hard.

    (This is starting to remind me of those commercials for some cell phone plan where the parent and child have an argument that is the opposite of the normal argument.
    "Use more minutes on your cell phone!" says the Dad. "But that's totally fair!" complains the son.)

  7. Hi Angela! I'm glad I found your blog through Marks! What a cute idea - I hope the book happens, all us moms could use one on our shelves to remind us to slow down a bit.

    I always like having my toddler teach me things. If she made a pretty picture I'll ask her to "show me how to draw that," or if she built a high tower of blocks I'll have her teach me how to build one too. She really loves being the one in the authority seat for a while.

  8. Here's some more:
    “I love you no matter what.”
    “You make me happy.”
    “Thank you for your help.”
    “I enjoy spending time with you.”
    “I think you are neat.”
    “I am grateful for our friendship.”
    “I am proud of you.”
    “Just do your best, that is all we ask.”
    “I appreciate you.”
    “Let’s work on it together.”
    “Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.”
    “I love you anyway.”
    “Tell me about it.”
    "I am proud of you for trying."

  9. emmusic, I see you didn't post Your other bro-in-laws suggestions... ;)

  10. Comments from Earl:

    I'll weigh in. How about:
    * Don't worry, I'll be waiting for you when you come out.
    * You are a good man (works especially well with teenage boys.
    * Yes, my love. Yes, special one. or Yes, you magnificent xxxx

    I'll keep thinking.

    Love you,

  11. Another one from Dad:

    Well done!

  12. Based on experiences from earlier today, Naomi thinks she would be most nourished if I said:
    "Let's go to the mall and ride the carousel, then the train, and play at the play place. We can buy you five new toys too. And earrings. Also, let's get cookies and eat lunch there. Then you can come home and not take a nap."