As parents, we construct the world our children see and operate in, whether we do it intentionally or not. We first gain a sense of identity from our parents. And then, in turn, we give our children a sense of identity through the self talk we teach them.
Have you ever seen a person walking, slumped over in every way? Hunched shoulders, arched back, dragging feet, downward gaze. Their posture is due to their beliefs about themselves and about how they think the world around them views them.
Our Words Determine Our Outlook
There is a term in social psychology known as Confirmation Bias that can be explained like this: if you believe something, you will look for reasons to confirm that belief. So, if you believe you are lazy, the next time it’s time to do something you may think, “I don’t want to do this. I am so lazy!” and you are more likely than someone else who doesn’t want to do that thing either but does not believe they themselves are lazy. If your parent has told you that you are stupid, when you take a test and miss a question, you will believe they are right. Perhaps next time you will not study as hard. Another example, if Sally’s mother always told her that she looks rude when she’s not smiling, as an adult she may either smile all the time (even when it’s inappropriate) or just decide to act the part and be a rude person, since people think she’s rude anyway, why fight it? What if Sally’s mother had simply said, “I like your face.” Perhaps Sally would grow up confident and deal with more pressing things rather than hearing her mother’s voice in the back of her head warning her that she has RBF.
“You say things that aren’t as if they were,” a friend once said to me, “It’s as if you call things into existence.”
Non-verbal communication is important as well. If we ignore our child, we are telling them they are not worth hearing. If we are too busy scrolling through our phones to make eye contact with them while they are speaking to us, we are communicating to them that our phones are more important.
Life is hard enough without being beaten down at home. As a family, we should be building each other up. Try committing to getting on your child’s level, look them in the eyes, and tell them you love them and like to be around them every day this week and see if you can tell a difference in their behavior.
What identity are you going to speak in to your child today? Do you need help speaking peace into your child’s heart? I’d love to talk with you about how to incorporate encouraging words into your child’s heart. Book online or call me! I’ve got openings this week. 940-222-8703 x 702