Parents, what are you saying to yourself about yourself?

A truck spoke to me once. A sign on the back of a tanker said, “What’s stopping you is probably you.” It hit me. The truck didn’t, but the sign did. You see, I talk to myself all the time. And usually my self-talk is about me – who I am, what I am, what I think other people think about me, and so on. I know some rude people, but the person who insults me the most is that person who stares back at me from the bathroom mirror. It’s called negative self-talk, and most of us do it. We tell ourselves that we can’t do things, that we’re not good enough, and that people will laugh at us.

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That’s what the truck was getting at – I have often failed to attempt things because my self-talk has run me down and made me afraid to try. The thing that is stopping me is me! Sometimes our self-talk can reassure us and talk us into taking on challenges, “Come on, let’s give it a go. It looks like fun. I’m sure I could do that.” Other times though, self-talk is pessimistic and negative.

As well as being aware of your own self-talk – and challenging it – try to pick up what your children are saying to themselves. If they are telling themselves things like, “I’m no good at sport”, “I just know that I could never be clever enough to do that so I won’t even try” or, “If I try that I might get hurt”, it could be totally robbing them of confidence.

Your kids need another voice in their head – yours. Lend them your confidence and your opinion of them. It can make all the difference.

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