Do you remember Napoleon Hill’s book Think and Grow Rich? The Secret’s Law of Attraction? Tony Robbins or Zig Ziglar? In fact every authority on achieving life goals will tell you that your thoughts and your words are absolutely crucial in accomplishing anything.
Similarly, the words we give to our children can have a dramatic impact on their lives. And some should be avoided at all costs…
Words Create World
I once attended a life coaching course where they summed it up like this: “Words create World”.
I think this is very true. And more than anyone else, the people we create the world for with our words are our children. So let’s be sure we create a good world.
One Negative Statement Cancels 10-20 Positive Ones
Negative words are like daggers – they can pierce the heart and leave scars that may last a lifetime. In fact, it has been said that one negative comment requires somewhere between 10 to 20 positive ones on the same subject, just to even out the negative one in a person’s mind.
Three Things You Do Not Want To Say
Here are the three statements that can quickly kill off your child’s spirits and stunt their ability to do well at anything, certainly including mastering math.
1. You are stupid.
If your child believes this, there is no way that school and learning will ever be fun or easy. If another adult person told you that you are stupid, how would you feel? The same thing, only worse, goes for your child. Your child looks up to you – what you say goes, so if you say those words, it must be true.
So instead of “You are stupid” you might say “That sure didn’t work”. If you can’t help it, and your child really did something stupid, make sure you comment on the specific event, not on the person. So the most extreme thing to say might be “That was stupid”. I hope you can see the difference. “That was stupid” leaves your child’s intelligence intact. “You are stupid” doesn’t.
2. You got that wrong, again? You are hopeless!
Do you remember what it was like to learn riding a bike? It seems quite daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s actually quite easy. Sometimes, we forget how daunting certain skills appear to children, because we mastered them a long time ago. Learning new skills takes time, practice and patience.
Similarly, making mistakes is a very powerful and effective way to learn. But only if your child does not associate making a mistake with being hopeless or with punishment.
The proper substitute to this statement is: “Ok, that’s useful, because now you’ve learnt how not to do it. Would you like to try again?” Can you imagine how different that will feel if your child hears such words?
3. I don’t believe you.
Trust is the ultimate empowerment for any person. If you, the parent, consistently withhold your trust from your child, the consequences are severe. Listen to what your kids have to say – do not dismiss them. Giving your child your full confidence is a key element in raising a confident, reliable person.
Conversely, if you don’t have faith in your child, your child will learn to not have faith in him or herself, either. And the result will be someone who is ultimately irresponsible.
The more negative words you say to your child, the more likely he or she is to succumb to them. But if you encourage positivity and words of assurance and comfort, you give your child every chance to be a positive, confident person – he or she will be so much more likely to excel at school, sports, arts or indeed whatever they choose to do.
Ultimately your words are vital to help your child create an amazing life.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any statements you avoid saying in your family?