Hello From Montana:
When you speak to your child, can you count more negative or positive words coming out of your mouth? Formal studies with learned psychologists have shown that it takes at least seven positive comments to undo a negative remark. My own informal studies working with parents and families tell me that many of the hurtful things said to children by parents and teachers never go away.
Plant Positive Thoughts in Garden of the Mind
Our subconscious brains are like gardens and what is planted there will multiply and grow in our thoughts and actions. Children internalize the words and actions of adults that they trust and love. If the messages you send through verbal and non verbal (body language) communication are negative or demeaning, the child will lose confidence in herself and her ability to affect her life for the better.
How does the child see herself when she looks through your eyes? If you are giving out labels of incompetence, lazy or stupid, you can count on your child believing your assessment of her as a person. If the message you send through your words, actions and attitudes is mistrust, disappointment, fear, worry or lack of confidence— those negative attitudes will slowly, but surely erode away the self esteem.
Example of Mother and Daughter
In my parenting workshops, I sometimes use the example of a mother and daughter with the daughter holding a piece of paper in her hand. Every time the mother makes a negative remark, demeaning comment or judgment about worth, the daughter tears a piece of the paper off and allows it to fall on the floor. When the mom makes a positive comment, we try to stick a little piece back on, but it frequently doesn’t stick.
It is a powerful visual reminder to parents to correct the behavior but not break the spirit of the child.
What Do You Like About Your Child?
How often do you compliment your child’s character strengths? I challenge you to frequently ask your child “Do you know what I like about you?”
These are the qualities of the heart. The important parts of what makes a good person. These are the values to be celebrated;
- generous attitude
- helpful to others
- kind to animals
Whatever character traits you recognize, encourage your child to look at herself with an optimistic attitude. Help her to affirm all the qualities she has that will help her in her life. Assist the self confidence and self esteem in children and help them to see themselves as empowered to not let outside influences determine their worth. Hopefully, when your child holds up a mirror on her life she will see a strong, vital and worthy woman who is confident in life.
You are invited to http://www.ConfidenceClues.com
for even more information to empower your child to be self confident.
Judy H. Wright aka Auntie Artichoke, family relationship author and keynote speaker