A few weeks ago, I saw this sign on an office door outside the pre-school classroom where I volunteer:
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
― Peggy O'Mara
I'd started a post about how important this insight is, then set it aside because it was too argumentative. I'd aimed it at those who believe there's a "self-esteem movement" in schools that, instead of upholding high academic standards, is filling tiny heads with inflated notions of self-worth and unleashing a generation of self-loving losers.
But as this Chronicle of Higher Learning article spells out, there's little evidence the United States is undergoing a narcissism epidemic.
And the quotation on the door is aimed at parents, not education policy-makers. It speaks not just to parents in a homeless shelter but to all of us.
I thought of that abandoned post today when I read about this moment of revelation when a musician mother heard her adult daughter sing to her for the first time. A daughter she'd named Melody.
"When I was four or five years old I remember you told someone that I didn’t have good pitch,” she said, “so, I didn’t sing, but I always wanted to.”
It turns out Melody was highly attuned to the pitch of her mother's voice.