Words As Concepts

words as concepts

It wasn’t exactly intentional, but over time, I noticed my use of certain words to describe concepts with the children. It’s interesting to see how the repetitive use of these words/concepts have come full circle and now the kids encourage me with the same.

I say things like:

“use your imagination”

“find something creative to do”

“you made a discovery”

“go on an adventure”

“choose to be happy”

“let’s hope for something”


Definition: form a mental image of something that is not present or that is not the case

Imagination is wonderful thing!  And children do it so well! I believe imagination is the step before creation.  It’s the ability to think outside the box and has enormous potential as a problem solving tool.  I often find myself affirming this sort of behaviour in my children, and rather than saying, “That’s good,” I say, “WOW, you’re using your imagination!”


Definition: make or cause to be or to become

“Find something creative to do” is a phrase I use often.  It may be when the kids have watched television for a while or if they are feeling bored. I guess what I’m trying to encourage is the ability for my children to create their own fun without the need for constant entertainment.  There is usually always something fun to discover, no matter where you are.


Definition: a productive insight

Discoveries are everywhere. Many of the love the moment challenges have led to wonderful learning experiences for the children and I! Discovery for me is about being aware of what is around me and the attitude of  constantly growing and learning. This is something I want to teach my children.


Definition: an exciting undertaking

My son often comes up to me and says, “I’m going on an adventure.” True: it may be hiding behind trees in the backyard, but the excitement is there!  Our family loves adventure, and we use the word when we are doing something exciting, like 4Wheel Driving on the beach, hiking, visiting a theme park or even just taking a different road home. “Let’s go on an adventure today!” Bring. It. On.


Definition: contentment

There’s a lot of noise about happiness these days.  I think happiness is  less about doing what you want and more about choosing to be content with what you have. It’s the way you look at a situation. I also see happiness as a consequence, not a goal; a natural consequence of carving a life of value is that feeling of satisfaction. That is part of the reason why I have the “Pollyanna” in the ingredients of a Fun Mum.  When my kids are all “poor me” I encourage them to make a choice to be happy. To be content, to look at things differently, to carve out a life of significance and satisfaction, even when things don’t turn out the way they expect.


Definition: to be optimistic, and the general feeling that some desire will be fulfilled

Hope. Having something to look forward to is a coping mechanism I often use.  When I have a hard week ahead, or a weekend without my husband, I plan something special in the future so I can look forward to it.  This works with the children too. Just this morning, my daughter had something hard to face at school. I gave her $2 to spend at the tuck-shop (a rarity for her). It wasn’t bribery, it was hope! I  thought having something for her to look forward to would help her face the day with a little more hope.

Words. Words are wonderful! And I love how their meaning have become concepts for our family to enjoy.

  • It thrills me when my children call me to look at their game: “Mum! Come look! We used our imagination!”
  • I laugh when my children, in a forbearing tone say, “Yeah Mum, we know: Find something creative to do.” And then later I find an amazing construction craft out of packing tape and recycled boxes.
  • I feel privileged to watch my children discover the wonder around them and they encourage me to do the same.
  • I love how the children embrace adventure with open arms, and how having them with me makes me look for adventure in all sorts of places.
  • I feel proud when my children make the decision to be happy, regardless of the situation.
  • And hope. There’s always hope. And if it’s not obvious, I invent it; for me and for my kids.

I love these words, and what they mean to me:

Imagine . Create . Discover . Adventure . Happy . Hope

Oh, and I like the word brilliant too.

What words do you love?


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  • Reply
    Lina Nguyen
    June 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

    What inspiring language to use in communication, Kelly. Everything starts with your ability to imagine. That’s “creation” in “brilliant” form!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 11:18 am

    ‘Adventure’ is one of my favourite words. I’ve found that whenever an activity gets ‘boring’ just showing a little enthusiasm and calling it an ‘adventure’ always perks the kids up and sparks their imagination.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      June 14, 2011 at 11:25 am

      YES! Isn’t it just awesome? Finding that excitment in the things you do… 😀

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Gorgeous words, the perfect way to raise postive, creative, happy children!

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Wonderful post Kel 🙂
    I may just have to commandeer your ideas, some days i get lost as to what to say to my kids 🙂 Thanks x

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      June 14, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      Yes do! Decide on some words and what you mean by them and use them in everyday life. It’s a special thing. 😀

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love this post. I find myself using: make a choice, happy, laugh, relax and sparkle.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      June 14, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      Sparkle! I love that! That’s gorgeous! I seem to use the word trust a lot as well.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Great kel need to use more words like that lol

  • Reply
    El P
    June 14, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    We love adventures, collections, discoveries, imagining… Things we like are usually awesome or super cool. And my boys often describe themselves as very ‘craftable’ (I love this!). Another one that I have used with the boys is lucky (as in fortunate) and they often come back with it in conversation… About 2 weeks ago, we gathered some toys to send to an orphanage and we talked a little about they why, how, etc… Then today my 4yr old told me out of the blue that he was the luckiest boy because he had toys but more lucky because he had all of our family (cue melting heart now!) I am conscious of the words and messages I aim to avoid using – but I don’t think I’ve ever been really conscious of using hopeful, inspiring vocabulary. Thanks for the idea : )

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      June 14, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      I adore that! Craftable! So cute! What collections do you have?

      • Reply
        El P
        June 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm

        Just the usual things really – Interesting rocks, feathers, seed pods, colourful leaves and other special treasures… Whatever tickles their fancy at the time ; )

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever said “find something creative to do”. Sure I’ve said “find something to do”, but adding in the word “creative” adds quite a bit to the instruction and sentence. I like it and I’ll use it, thank you.

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      June 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      You’ve captured it Glenys… I’ve found, just using one extra word makes such a difference…because it’s not just a word, it’s a concept.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Lovely post! Lovely words! I think our word is lovely. My partner asks for a kiss from bub and everytime afterwards he says ‘ahhh lovely!’ and now I find that I do the same ‘Kiss for mummy? Ahhhh lovely!’

  • Reply
    June 15, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    I think it’s not just the words, though they are hugely important. I’ve noticed you set up opportunities for those things to take place for your kids. And you share your awareness of each tiny magical moment with not only your kids, but with your blog readers. It’s what makes your blog so special, Kel!

  • Reply
    June 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I love this positive approach to parenting Kelly. These are lovely mantras for your children and beautiful words/concepts for them to be sharing with others. Brilliant!

  • Reply
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    March 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Loved this! Words are so powerful and we often just throw them out without thinking about what we’re saying. My husband always points out to us when we use strong words such as “love”and “hate”. Like if we say we love ketchup or we hate that commercial….. He’s quick to ask us if we REALLY hate it or just dislike it….. It helps us say what we mean and makes sure what we say has value….. I guess with having a house of four females, he would hears us squeal over excitement and profess our love over so much stuff he had to help us “keep it real” lol!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      March 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Oh, I toally get what you’re saying. I can really identify with the four girls because I’m one of four girls too! (So my Dad was used to living with 5 women too). It’s so true about the “love” and “hate”. You’ve just enriched this post so much by your comment. Thank you xx

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