I bet you love your kids to death, but stop for a moment and recap the day from their perspective.
"Get out of bed – we're late!"
"I am tired of your antics."
"You better hustle mister, or you are so in trouble."
"You are NOT wearing that to school."
"You're driving me nuts!"
"If you didn't have your head screwed on, I swear you'd lose that, too."
"Oh please... (eyeball roll)"
We forget that children internalize the messages we send them and so much of what is said to children is negative. In fact, research shows that for every negative comment, it takes five positive comments to "neutralize" the effect.
If you are not naturally one to give out the warm and fuzzies, it's a good idea to at least bite your tongue. I know, I know -- easier said than done when you're frustrated and those comments want to tumble out of your mouth. Saying them is cathartic yes, but not good.
So if we are going to start being conscious of zipping the lip and talking more positively to our kids, what will we say? What do kids really need to hear from us? Betty Lou Bettner and Amy Lew, two of my mentors, coined "The 4 Crucial Cs," which are four beliefs that every child needs to internalize:
1. I need to believe that I am connected;
2. I need to believe that I am capable;
3. I need to believe that I count;
4. I need to believe that I am courageous.
Children develop their belief systems from internalizing their experiences. We have to provide those experiences by design. This can be in the form of the actions we take, the attitudes we hold, but also in how we speak to them.
Here are some sentences that capture the sentiments our children need to hear from their parents each day in order to help internalize the four Cs.
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