Visual Nagging: Subliminal teaching moments

Mothers of 6 invent ways to drive important lessons into our little Punk-a-noodle's heads without uttering a word. It's our talent... we major in it. You see, one becomes obsessed with finding a better way than telling our 6 kids to brush their teeth 3 times each- that's 24 times I've said, "Brush your teeth," in one evening.

Nope, such repetition will drive mothers to the pantry to rummage for a chocolate chip fix thus adding to the weight problem... which might I add is now up to a whopping 40 lbs more after my 13 years of motherhood. Total admission: I need a new way to cope:)

In our house I've made a point to
let the kids know what's important to me without saying a word.

I don't have vinyl letters all over my house but a few well thought phrases are an excellent way to tell your children what you think and where your heart is.

In short, let your home teach your children through the art, music, and words you display in well planned areas.
A few ways to send your children subliminal messages that they'll remember:
  1. Display quotes on the wall opposite the toilet in main bathroom areas. Don't be afraid to change them every once in awhile. Bathroom time has great learning possibilities because children are alone and are looking for something to read (or think about) while business is getting done.
  2. Post scripture quotes or famous quotes on the inside of kitchen cupboards.
  3. Use vinyl letters to remind kids to wash their hands or brush their teeth and place them on the bathroom mirror.
  4. Display family pictures in main traffic areas.
  5. Display uplifting artwork in your home. Pictures of important places or people say much about who you are and what you believe in.
  6. Post a family motto in a place that your children see every day. I'm trying to get the Boy Scout Oath somewhere... it just about covers everything.
  7. Consider what images your children are viewing. Do they have uplifting pictures in their rooms. Do the posters that hang in their room or your garage reflect who and what you believe in? What changes could you make?
  8. Consider quotes that focus on these ideas: Work ethic, Values, Faith, Prayer, Family Unity, Forgiveness, Service, Love, How to treat others, Expressions of love, good humor, family rules.
  9. Don't be afraid to change things. Consider using a standard frame and changing an image of Christ every week or month to teach a different lesson to your children
  10. Smile and enjoy that someday they will tell their kids or friends about the quotes that adorned their halls. They will remember and you will have done it without ever saying a word!
How do you teach your children without saying a word?


Myrnie said...

Love it! My parents always put lots of pictures of the Savior around the computers, and put our "scripture mastery" cards on the bathroom mirrors. Vinyl is so nice because it looks polished, and is easy to switch out :)

Magic Brush said...

Love the post. But REALLLLLY loved that turquoise kitchen with cream cabinets! Ooh-la-la!!!

My favorite word thing in my house says "Sons are a heritage from the Lord" (Ps 173). It's not teaching them.... but it is letting them know they are valued.

Steph @ AnnoyinglyDomestic said...

This is absolutely brilliant and makes so much sense. My boys are just starting to read (and read EVERYthing) - I'll be implementing some of these suggestions. And I've finally found a picture of a kitchen color scheme that makes my husband happy - THANK YOU!!! LOL

Kris said...

Girl...I just love you! I'm a fan of those rub on quotes. I also like to take quotes and "fancy" them up by adding pretty paper and the like. Then, I put it in a picture frame and place it where I can see it. My family jokes with me and says that anyone who enters my house must be literate due to the heavy amount of reading they must do. What can I say...I'm a teacher!

Vivienne said...

Great, great ideas. The things that truly make one's house into a home.

Love that kitchen too.

Jenna said...

Great reminder! It's about time to switch things up. I have the George Washington praying picture somewhere & had totally forgotten about it. I am ready to try the vinyl quotes as well.

Two things that I do - I leave a church magazine or the News out on the kitchen table when I go to sleep. The older kids beat me out of bed & read while eating cereal. Also, my computer has a screen-saver of our family pictures. The kids spend a lot of time remembering good times that we've had as a family.

Reese said...

What a wonderful idea!!!!
I'd love to know your source for the alphabet. I've tried my hand at painting the alphabet, not too successful.
What a wonderful blog!!
I have trouble staying organized with 2, much less 6.




salmagundi said...

Now I'm a grandmother and have learned along the way that the fewer words you say the better. For instance, when a grandkid needs to wipe their mouth at the table, I just hand them their napkin - no words, no harsh voice, etc. They know what I mean and are all smiles. Same way with the 'tie your shoe' thing. I just tap my knee indicating to put your foot up and I'll tie it for you; but they always smile and lean down and tie it themselves. We have all kinds of signals that are much more pleasant then reprimanding words. Sally

Leslie said...

When I redecorated my daughter's bedroom as she entered her teen years, I put the saying "I love you...no matter what!" right above her lightswitch that faces her doorway. She sees it every time she enters her bedroom!
ps. My word verificated is "mouspitt." Mouse spit?!

Wanda said...

From someone who sells those vinyl type letters (119341.uppercaseliving.net) I'm VERY fond of this post! :o) Love it!

In my kitchen I have "Give Us Our Daily Bread"...we are never in want when it comes to food, praising God for His provisions!

Lorrie said...

What a great reminder. This is such a good way of getting scripture into them. Blessings.

Elite Home Decor said...

I love the quotes. I have a few in my house too!

mystipher said...

I am a child of the 80's so in my daughters room is Cindi Lauper's True Colors

"I see your true colors and that's why I love you, so don't be afraid to let them show.... your true colors are beautiful like a rainbow."

Cass @ That Old House said...

Great idea, and good for everyone, not just children, to be reminded of valuable lessons . . .

Katie said...

I completely agree! I have vinyl all over my house..it helps that I make it though...keeps things low cost...

PS- that cream cabnet"ed" kitchen? So cute. Love it.

Michelle said...

Love this. First I love quotes. Secondly, my parents are big Notre Dame fans...when my middle brother was in middle school he was always causing problems. So my dad had a sign made just like hte locker room at ND...except it says ACT LIKE A CHAMPION TODAY. Both my prothers used to hit the sign on their way out to school. Actually we all still hit the sign on our way out of ther house. It is a great tradition and definitely something to think about!

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