JUNE 10, 2019
Growing up I didn’t have a very close relationship with either of my parents. To this day we don’t have very many conversations that include many words of affection, unless it’s me communicating to them. I’ve learned throughout my life the importance of having loving communication with those around me, especially with children.
Our children will remember the things we do, but more than that, they’ll remember the things we tell them, teach them, and help them to believe. As we communicate with love, we can help them to believe in themselves and gain self-confidence.
Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist and author of 15 parenting books, says a kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others.
This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career.
So, as parents, it’s our job to help them to love themselves while they’re young, thus securing their self-confidence in the future. This can seem like a hard task, but we can start by simply communicating confidence, or incorporating phrases that help them recognize their value and potential, thus coming to believe it. Here are a three phrases that you can start using today to begin communicating confidence:
1. You are beautiful.
Now, this phrase shouldn’t just be used when your child looks pretty, dresses nice, or has a good hair day. It should be said when they do something kind, make good decisions, or show independence and strength of character. You should also say it when they are sweaty, dirty, messy, and working hard. We must teach them that true beauty lies inside and in their positive actions, not their appearance.
2. What do you want to do?
While there may be times that you have to protect your child from dangerous situations, it’s important that you show that you trust them and allow them to be independent. Ask them about their thoughts and feelings, about their motivations behind their decision making. It’s appropriate to share your thoughts and feelings about theirs, but don’t try to control them, it will make them lose trust in you.
3. I love you.
This was one phrase that I constantly heard from my parents and my siblings. To this day no one hangs up the phone without saying “I love you.” I know that my family loves me and that I love them. However, the value and vulnerability that comes from saying it to someone in a quiet and serious time, looking them in the eye, and truly letting them know and feel how much they are loved will help them to remember that when they aren’t feeling confident in the future.
As we practice these phrases and others that communicate love and confidence, our children will begin building up their own self-love and self-confidence. They will be able to draw upon this when they’re out of the house and when they have children of their own.