Positive Self Talk

Positive Self Talk

“I am smart.”  “I can do it.”  “I am special.”

When a child does something they should not have, such as they spill the milk all over the back of your car.  How many times did you tell them to be careful?  Your frustration mounts and you tell them something that later you wish you didn’t say.  Your face showed your disappointment and you raised your voice.  This happens to every parent, every child and to some everyday.  Parenting is hard but remembering that YOU are the parent and YOU are responsible for guiding them through life.  How you choose your words and how you choose your actions will shape them.

Remember they are little.  Yes, in your mind, you may think they should know better.  How many times did you make a mistake when you “knew better.”  Think of mistakes as opportunities for growth.  Opportunities to not only remind them that they are loved but also remind them what they could do differently next time. Explain why we have to be careful and why we need to follow the rules.

What you say/how you react, you can’t take back.

Teach them positive self talk.  I can think of my daughter coming home and telling me she is “stupid.”  I was surprised by this declaration.  Where did she learn that?  Who told her that?  So many questions were running through my head and so quickly I responded with “you are not stupid, you are smart.”  I took a second to find out where she learned that.  She did not do as well on her test and therefore decided she was stupid.  We turned that “I am stupid” to “I can study harder and do better next time.”

Deliver messages without criticism.  “You always make me late because you are too slow.” Such declarations can be hurtful to children who don’t have the ability to understand, “Mommy is tired today” or ” Daddy has an important meeting this morning and is impatient.”  Take a minute and explain why it is important to get out of the house in the morning and your child/children will listen to the positive message more than feel down about receiving the criticism.

Speak calmly.  Yelling at children just has an automatic negative effect. It isn’t helpful and won’t give you the desired results long term. Additionally children can learn from your behavior and over time use yelling as their inner voice.

Treat them with respect.  Just because children are little and children make mistakes and honestly can make the same mistake 200 times in one day, treat them with respect.  It won’t be long before your child starts treating others with respect as well as respecting the rules and hearing your corrections in a positive way, thus making an impact.

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