Can't Will Ruin Your Child

We all want to ensure our child believes in themselves, but often we find ourselves frustrated with our child when he or she struggles to grasp a new skill or concept.  We speak negatively around them without awareness or  knowledge to family members or other frustrated parents on phone calls.Therefore it is always important to be mindful of how we speak about our children in their presence and when we are not in their presence.  

Children are like sponges that soak up everything. Children are also trying their best to please their most trusted adult, which is usually their parent. When children over hear you saying what they can’t do, they clearly begin to build an image of themselves. 

During my teaching career, I had a child at the age of 6 years old that was adamant that he couldn’t read. He wouldn’t even try. He could tell you elaborate stories about the model of trucks and motorcycles that he had learned about, but when it was time to learn new vocabulary and words he struggled. When meeting with his parents, they often shared what he “couldn’t” do and not what he “could” do. This brought tears to my eyes because as his teacher, I had more belief in him than his own parents. During the meeting, I mentioned to the parents, “how often do you tell him that he can do something” and the parents replied with, “ I’m not sure.”

This very moment changed my career as an Educator, as I vowed to ensure all children were empowered with the word, “I Can”. I met with the student individually after a few days of meeting with his parents to ask him why he often said, “I can’t”. Although, I already knew what his answer was. He explained that his parents often told him he can’t read,  so he doesn’t try. I immediately spoke with his parents at the end of the day to share what their son had shared with me. I told them something I learned from the great author, Don Miguel Ruiz of The Four Agreements book. Your son is in agreement with what you have said about him around him or near him, that he actually believes he can’t. His belief system won’t change until you guys correct your vocabulary about him. This was a struggle for the parents, but eventually they began to change their vocabulary. The following school year, the young boy had started trying and reading more because the parents changed their “ can’t” to a “ can”! 

Did you know by the age of 5 your child’s self-esteem is attained?  In order to change their negative beliefs about themselves it takes 5 positive beliefs or praises to correct every 1 negative belief or praise. Therefore, if we look at the age range from 1 to 5 years old and your child is often hearing negative beliefs for corrective behaviors about themselves, they will need 9, 125 positive beliefs or praises to change their mindset by the age of 5 years. 

Words hold power and can ruin or build your child’s self-esteem! Use positive words with your child and around your child about them daily! 

Click here to read more about the power of positive words!