Using Our Words Tool is about how we communicate with others and to ourselves. It is important to be
able to communicate clearly. Having strong relationships by avoiding misunderstanding depends on how
we use words, including how we use voice tone.
Your child's school community is developing a common language about how to talk about relationships
and interactions. An important part of the Using Our Words Tool is learning to express a personal point of
view with kindness and caring.
By now, you should be noticing how each Tool builds on the others to help your child with better
communication. The Breathing Tool calms us down enough to gain self-aawareness. The Personal Space
Tool helps us to ask for and respect physical boundaries. The Listening Tool helps us to be aware of other
people's needs and wants. The Empathy Tool develops our awareness of other's feelings in relation to our
own feelings, and the Using Our Words Tool reminds us to put our words to work by telling others what
we think, feel,, and need..
Instead of telling children what Tool they "should" be using, we encourage you to ask, "What Tools in the
TOOLBOX could help you in this situation?" When we ask children, "What three Tools have you used?"
we remind them that they have the capacity to be their own problem solvers when they use their Tools.
Using Our Words helps children understand that unless they express their needs, wants, and feelings,
others can't know what they need.. Instead of acting out, children can talk things out...
Here are some suggestions for using the Using Our Words Tool at home:
- Ask your child to explain what the Using Our Words Tool to you and to tell you about the Tool tagline,, "I use the 'right' words in the 'right' way," and the gesture that goes with it.
- Remind family members to use their words when conficts arise.
- Use your own words with care and kindness to help your child understand what your needs and feelings are.