The following was a facebook status on one of the parenting pages I follow. (I know! Can you believe I do anything aside from fitness stuff??):
PERCEPTIONS ARE CUMULATIVE. A child who consistently hears negative messages will perceive himself as bad, incapable, difficult, a trouble-maker, etc. The longer he holds those NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS, the longer it will take to turn them around and the more ENCOURAGEMENT it will require. Fortunately, POSITIVE MESSAGES are also CUMULATIVE & can shift a child’s perception of himself to CAPABLE, IMPORTANT, and EMPOWERED. This week’s challenge: try to provide 10 positive messages to 1 negative/correcting message to your kids. Let us know how they respond.
After first considering how I could use this to be a better parent (of course), I immediately thought of how we view OURSELVES. Read the above paragraph again…consistently hearing negative messages will make someone perceive themselves as incapable. This doesn’t just apply to children. This applies to ALL of us. (After all, we’re just grown up kids, right?) So of course I have to ask, what kind of messages are you feeding yourself?
Negative messages? “I’m too heavy to work out ~People will make fun of me ~ I’m not good enough ~ I don’t know what I’m doing ~ I don’t know where to start. ~ I’m not capable. ~ I’m bad because I ate something unhealthy. ~ etc”. If you consistently feed your brain those negative messages, guess what? It will become your truth! Why in the world would you want this to be your truth?
“Fortunately, positive messages are also cumulative and can shift a child’s perception of himself to CAPABLE, IMPORTANT, and EMPOWERED.” You are those things.
You ARE capable. You can do anything you set your mind to. It may require baby steps. It may require educating yourself on new ways of doing things. It may require a thought shift. As Henry Ford says, “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right”.
You ARE important. Just ask those that are important to you. They know how important you are. You matter! And you are worth the time to invest in yourself.
Positive messages: “I am smart. I am kind. I am beautiful. I am important.” The Help
You wouldn’t speak negatively to children, friends, or other family members. Why do you think you deserve that? You don’t! Replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. For every negative thought you have, replace it with ten positive ones. You WILL be empowered.
We’re just awesome little kids in grown up bodies. We deserve to feel good about ourselves. We deserve to look in the mirror and LOVE what we see. (Have you ever seen a 5-year-old pick out stuff they hated about themselves?) Perceptions ARE cumulative. So what is your perception?
*Thank you Positive Parenting Solutions for letting me borrow your quote.