As a young teenager I babysat for the most adorable baby girl (who is now almost a teenager herself!). I learned so much about parenting by watching the things her parents did and said and the way they interacted with her. I wasn't purposely trying to remember these thing for when I had my own kids, but they just stuck with me all of these years.
One thing was that they never said, "bad girl" or "good girl." Her value wasn't in what she did or didn't do. Instead, when she do something they liked, they would say "great job!"
I'm always shocked and saddened when I hear parents call their kids, "brat" or tell them to, "shut up." Or, when they compare them to other kids or do anything to hurt or tear them down with their words. Our words are so powerful! I've ministered to lots and lots of men and women who carry around emotional wounds 10, 20, 30 years later from things their parents said or didn't say to them.
The Bible says that, "out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing, this should not be so." With God's words he created the world. If the Holy Spirit lives in us we carry around that same power and authority. Our words can either bless those around us or curse them. Our words can bless or curse our husbands (or wives), our children, every single person we come in contact with. Our words can even bless or curse ourselves.
I take every opportunity to build up my children. I always tell them how smart, funny, perfect, and adorable they are. I call them my "gentlemen." When they are disobedient I discipline them in a gentle voice, usually quieter than I normally talk. I explain to them what I didn't like and why it was wrong. I am intentional about making them feel loved. The purpose of discipline is to form our children's character, not to get out anger or frustration.
The same is true for ourselves. I hear so many women talk about how klutzy, stupid, fat, and ugly they are. As a Christian, our words are prophetic. Which means that when we speak something out it becomes true. You don't have to be a Christian to believe this, though. It's just a natural principle. If I say, "I'm so tired," then I'm probably going to be more tired. If I say, "I'm so scared," then nothing's going to change. If I say, "I'm going to do it no matter how I feel," then I will probably overcome my fear.
Circumstances change by the things we speak. Our children blossom when we encourage them. Marriages are restored with gentle and loving words. The impossible can become possible by the words that come our of our mouths.