Don’t “I Promise”

Words. They have power. Power for good. Power to harm. Words matter.  

Jotting down this post reminded me of something I wrote a couple of years ago about using words as concepts overtime.  Words like imagination, creativity, happiness, adventure and discovery are often central to how I communicate with my kids.

I guess it’s a way to be intentional. Intentional in thought and in action. Along with using words, I am also an advocate of NOT using words too. Like the word hate.  Hate is a severe word, and I discourage the kids from using it for just anything they dislike.

I hate injustice. This is true.

And yet, I dislike getting out of bed on a cold morning.

Another word is promise.

I promise I will do this or that. 

“Please bring that back when you’re finished with it.”

“Okay. I promise.”

When I hear the like from my kids I stop them.

“You don’t need to promise to me. If you say you will, I will accept your words. Just say what you say and mean it. Leave promises for really important things. Like when you promise to love and care for someone one day. For when you have your own children and promise to love them unconditionally. Promise is a strong word and so keep it for important things. And simply be a person of your word and let you words be true, so if you say you will do something, do it.”

One thing I will promise:

“I promise to love you ALWAYS”

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