Parental stress levels have an unsurprising but alarming impact on the words they speak to their children: By 4, the typical child from a low-income family will hear 125,000 more words of discouragement than encouragement. A child from a high-income family will hear 560,000 more words of encouragement than discouragement.
Find out how to help: www.wordrebel.org
WORDS HAVE POWER
Words to live by:
“My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” Maya Angelou
“Thought is cause: experience is effect. If you don’t like the effects in your life, you have to change the nature of your thinking.” Marianne Williamson
“Happiness pursued eludes. Happiness given returns.” Sir John Templeton
WORD OF THE WEEK
Don’t forget to build your own vocabulary:
MERETRICIOUS: Seeking attention in the most vulgar, disgusting way.
Thank you for sharing the words that changed your life during our “Words Have Power” Challenge. Appreciate the full power of words as you read the following memoir, Mr. Wilson, written by one of the bravest and most inspiring women I know:
“I was a depressed teenager, and wanted to end my life. My parents had separated, and my mother had moved the two of us to a boarding house in a strange city where we didn’t know a soul. My mother found a job as a hostess in a popular midtown restaurant, a job with long hours, which meant she arrived home late often after I was asleep. Students at my new high school were more apt to make fun of me than to befriend me. I missed my father and the girls who had been my friends since Kindergarten. The pain of loneliness and rejection was so bad that I longed for death. I did not want to commit suicide, even if I knew how to, because my mother would blame herself. Instead I decided to seek help from God. Each day when I was alone in our room I would kneel down beside our bed and beg God to give me a fatal illness.But God did not grant my prayer; He had another plan. One Saturday on my lunch break from clerking at a record store, I walked several blocks to the restaurant where my mother worked. Unfortunately, the place was crowded and there were no seats available. I was about to leave when I noticed a grey haired gentleman waving for me to sit with him. My mother noticed, too, and said, “Mr. Wilson wants you to sit at his table. Go ahead,” she said, as she gave me a little shove in his direction.
Although I felt uncomfortable, not knowing what I would say to this distinguished looking man, I need not have worried. He immediately asked about my favorite subjects and wanted to know my plans for the future. (At that time in my life, I did not expect to have a future.) We talked and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed our time together. He invited me to have lunch with him the following Saturday and soon it became our Saturday routine. He would often bring me a book of fiction or poetry and we would discuss it at our next meeting. I don’t know exactly when I stopped asking God to take my life, but I know it was soon after Mr. Wilson asked me about my plans for the future, and I started to believe that I had options.
I was a few years older and had moved away when I realized what an impact he’d had on my life, so I wrote him the following note:
Dear Mr. Wilson. I am sorry that we can no longer have Saturday lunches together, but I cherish the ones we had. If I ever do anything worthwhile in life, it will be because of you and your encouraging words. Sincerely, Shirley”
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LISTEN TO THE AUDIO-BOOK: CARE BEARS SPECIAL DELIVERY online or read it for free in a corner of your local library.
BUILD VOCABULARY: Ask your child to make up a song to remember his or her address, phone number and other details about your neighborhood.
TEACH ONE THOUSAND WORDS because Preschoolers who know 1,100 words are more likely to graduate from high school on time. Start by teaching a words a day: HELP, HEN, HERE, HAD, HAPPY, HARD, HAS, HAT, HAVE, HAY
READ FOR A PURPOSE: Ask the questions (common-core aligned) teachers will ask, “”How is the main character characterized or described in your story? Hint: List adjectives to describe their personality and physical traits. What examples or evidence show you this? (ex: On page 1, my character says…)?”