FIERCE LIFE MAGAZINE THE HOLIDAY - Page 34

MOMMY

MOMENTS

BY

DAYLA BROWN

Penny

for your Thoughts

“In second grade I thought

I was stupid.” That was the first

sentence of my eldest son’s scholarship

essay he recently wrote. Talk about a punch

in the gut. I have always wondered why my eldest

son had a habit of downplaying his abilities and intelligence.

Little did I know that his second grade teacher was causing more

damage every day. Here I thought all of our messages of encouragement,

strength and confidence were a surefire guarantee of his future self-esteem.

Reality check for sure. It reminded me that, with all our children hear about

themselves from others throughout their lives, the most important thing

will always be not what is said or done to them but what THEY think about it.

I must admit, however, that I often go into Robocop protective mode when

my child hears anything negative about themselves. Then I start launching

into a few speeches about how amazing they are, how they can conquer the

world and an endless list of all their amazing qualities. The problem with

that is that it’ s my v oice they hear the loudest and not theirs. Maybe the

focus should be on asking questions about how they feel and what they

think about the things they hear or experiences they have. We can prompt

them to come to their own logical conclusions of how strong they are while

offering them our voice in positive agreement. Maybe it’s about finding

opportunities for them to feel good about who they are around others

and feel capable and strong with activities they are good at.

I’ve learned we can’t block most of the garbage our kids

hear or experience, but we sure can find out what

they think about it so they won’t be tempted

to hold onto the trash.

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34 TUESDAY CHRONICLES