Language is extremely important. Words carry immense power and can impact people in different ways, from inspiring them to completely disempowering them within seconds. 

How we speak to others can determine the type of relationship we have with them: making people feel seen, heard and understood involves effective communication with respect for their feelings at the forefront of every interaction. This is essential to remember in all situations, but is especially important when we interact with children.

I was reminded of this earlier this week, as I sat anxiously in a paediatric A&E bay with my eight-year-old son. I was relieved when a doctor arrived, but rather than making him feel better, the doctor’s badly-chosen words and snap judgement left my son feeling like a “girly girl” - and me utterly furious.


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