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The language we use with children has enormous power and great influence on them. The phrases we use, the tone we use, etc. they can be decisive and can change their life or, at least, the way in which they cope with it. They influence what children think of themselves, but also their behavior and behavior. Therefore, it is essential to take care of what we say to children if what we want is to motivate them, to develop self-esteem and a positive self-concept.
Let's take an example and, by the way, think about how we adults would feel if they talked to us like this. We have a somewhat clueless child who often loses things or forgets them. One day he comes home, we ask him for the agenda and he has forgotten (again) at school ... We as parents, tired of this being repeated regularly, we reproach him, somewhat angry: 'You are a mess! Always the same!'.
It may seem justified because you always forget it, and even if we tell you that the goal in your backpack you forget at school ... And of course, we are tired of always the same ... However, we must bear in mind that When we say that it is a disaster, the underlying message is: 'I, who am your father / mother, I think you are a disaster and you are not able to remember the agenda, I do not trust you for this'.
Children build their self-esteem in part on adults' beliefs about them, that is, on what we think of them, and if what they get is that we think they 'are a disaster' they will believe that they really are.
If we want him to bring the agenda, maybe we should change the message: 'well, what solution can you think of?', 'Tomorrow we have to try to remember, surely you will succeed', 'how can you do it?' 'What can you think of so you don't forget?' The day he brings the agenda, we must reinforce that he has brought it with positive words that show that we trust him.
That is why the phrases that we use with them are extremely important. We propose some that will change the way your children face their day to day, knowing that their parents support and trust them.
1. I understand that you feel this way
Many times children tell us about a problem or something that worries them, and we judge it from our adult perspective, and we tell them 'come on, that's silly!', 'Don't be like that for that!' Although our intention is to remove iron from the matter and not worry about it, they receive it as we do not listen to them and we are not interested in what happens to them. So surely, little by little they stop telling us things. What worries them matters, and we must listen to them, and value it, not judge it from our adult point of view.
2. I am very proud of you
'I knew you could do it', 'I trust you', 'I know you can', 'You are capable' ... These are all very necessary phrases. We should say them more frequently, although we often forget them ... All of them convey to the child that we are aware of him, his achievements and that we trust him. If our son is afraid of something (the dark, being alone, a slide ...), it will be important to make him see first, that we understand that he is afraid and feels bad, and second, if he faces that fear or what try saying 'I'm proud of you'.
3. Nothing happens! Do we try again?
We must be clear that one learns from mistakes and that no one is born knowing everything, so in the face of a child's 'failure', it will be very important that we give them a supportive phrase. In this way we will be able to make it clear that the important thing is to try and that failure does not mean being a failure, but it will be the key to learning.
Many times I hear parents say of their children, 'if it is not worth this ... He is very clumsy ... He is not like John Doe ...'. And I wonder: 'What if your boss said that about you at work? Or a friend? We would feel uncomfortable the same, right? ' They are not phrases that make it easy to feel valued and loved. As an adult I can pass from my boss and his opinion, but can my son pass from what I think of him?
4. You are very important to me
Phrases like 'You are very important to me', 'You are very special', 'I love you', are phrases that should not be lacking in our daily lives with the little ones. Love must be shown, but it never hurts to say it, especially to children, for whom it may not be so clear that everything we do is for them and for their well-being (taking them to school, to their games, to doctor, make them food, etc.).
5. I had a great time with you
'I love it when we play together' 'How good we have fun when we are together' ... Letting the children see that we value the time (a lot or a little) we spend with them is very important.
6. Thanks for helping me, without you it wouldn't have been so easy '
If you give us a hand at home or when shopping, it is very good that we thank you and appreciate how important your help is. The child's chest will fill with happiness and we too just from seeing it.
It's not just about saying nice things to them and worshiping them for everything they do. It is about making them see that we trust them, that we value them; it is about correcting in another way, avoiding harmful words that do not help to improve children; It is about changing our language to one that does not affect their self-esteem and their concept of themselves.
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