Research tells us it’s our child’s early relationships in life that form their view of themselves as adults. It is gleaned over many years of everyday interactions with the people closest to them – our tone of voice, the comments we make about them and the little words of encouragement (or criticism) that we drop into everyday encounters.
Our children are infinitely unique. There is no one on the planet like them and getting to know them inside out is our number one assignment.
I recently heard a dad giving his son the hurry-up as he was trying to make a decision in the supermarket, “Oh for goodness sake, you are pathetic, just make a decision!” His tone of voice was impatient and critical, he was fed up with waiting and he was letting his son know his frustration. From that conversation, that boy worked out that he was not good enough, too slow and a real frustration to his dad. A one-off comment like this is repairable, but a steady stream of them over time can really put a huge dent a child’s self-esteem.
Life teaches our kids to become acutely aware of where they need to improve. Our challenge as parents is to help them become equally aware of where they have it exactly right and to point out the gold that we see emerging in them. So how do we do this?