You have the power to break your child’s spirit or make them feel like they can take on the world. All this power you hold is in your tongue. The unique relationship between parent and child is such that no one has more impact on a person than their parent.

This a beautiful gift and a colossal responsibility. No one will impact your child more than you. If your words encourage and uplift your child, they will carry that into their future. Unfortunately, if your words are critical, negative, and disheartening, they will also carry that into their future. Every one of your words pierce your child’s heart, having long-lasting affects. It’s a sobering truth.

In light of this reality, I want to share two things that you should consider.

1. Speak Carefully.

Every word we say should pass through a filter in our minds before ever leaving our mouths. Our words should never be carelessly spoken. We need to be so careful about what we say because we understand the gravity of our words. A great check list to use as your filter is found in Philippians 4:8. Be sure your words check off each one of the items on the list before releasing them into your child’s hearts: True, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, praiseworthy. Do your words meet these criteria? If not, don’t allow them to enter your child’s ears.

2. Speak Purposefully.

Not only do we want to hold our tongue rather than release a poison which could hurt our children for years, we also want to purposely do the opposite. We should strive to speak truth and love to our child. Think before you speak. Think, “How can I purposefully uplift my child today?” “What can I say to show my child how much I love them?” “What words do my child need to hear right now to uplift and encourage them?” Every word you say should have purpose; to add life, to encourage, to edify, to administer grace and mercy, to give hope, to show love, and acceptance.

As you change your words from careless to purposeful, you will watch your words administer life to your child. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Proverbs 18:21