January 25, 2011

Is Your Child's Self Talk Positive or Negative?

Self talk is an internal dialog. It can be positive or negative depending on your outlook on life. What you say to yourself can impact your feelings and your actions. People who practice positive self talk are more confident and successful. People who use negative self talk lack confidence and have low self esteem.

Take a close look at your child’s self talk. Is it positive or negative? A child's self-talk doesn’t just happen. It emerges based on what they hear from other people, especially their parents. What are you saying to your child and how are those words impacting their self talk?

When children hear words of encouragement they learn to respect themselves. “You followed directions.” “You figured that out.” “You stayed calm.” These are examples of what you can tell your child to encourage their self talk to be positive.

“You never do anything right.” “Why can’t you be more like your sister?” “You’re so clumsy.” These words are full of criticism and blame. Children who hear them feel worthless and their self talk will reflect negativity.

Parents need to make a conscious effort to encourage positive self talk in their children. I encourage you to pay close attention to what you say to your child over the next few days. Are your comments mostly negative? If so, find a way to turn those negative comments into positive ones. It can be as simple as “catching your child being good” and telling him you noticed. The more you’re aware of what you say to your child the more positive your comments will become. When you incorporate positive comments into your daily routine, it can make big changes in your life and in the self talk of your child.

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