The Power of Self-Talk
In this blog post, we’ll take a quick look at the concept of self-talk, and see the potential impact of the language we use with our kids.
What is Self-Talk?
We all have that little voice inside our heads that constantly chatters away – it’s our self-talk. Self-talk is the way we talk to ourselves, our inner voice. It can be conscious or unconscious, positive or negative, and has the power to shape our mindset and influence our behavior.
Negative Self-Talk: The Saboteur Within
Negative self-talk occurs when we are critical or harsh with ourselves. It is that inner voice that focuses on our flaws, doubts, and fears.
Positive Self-Talk: Our Inner Cheerleader
In contrast, positive self-talk involves nurturing and supportive thoughts toward ourselves. It is about focusing on our strengths, achievements, and potential.
Cultivating Positive Self-Talk
Like any habit, cultivating positive self-talk requires time and practice. If you are a person who deals with negative self-talk and want to overcome it, How to Silence Your Inner Judge: 4 Ways to Stop Negative Self-Talk offers some great advice.
The Power of Words
The way that other people talk to and interact with a child is a powerful influence on the way they view and talk to themselves.
I saw the perfect example of this statement last week.
Ella, our 7-year-old granddaughter, had gone to Vacation Bible School (VBS), with about 100 other children. They were divided into different groups, and the groups changed rooms throughout the morning as they participated in various activities. The problem was that all the kids attending were given a shirt to wear with the VBS logo on it, and all the shirts were exactly the same design and same color. This made it a bit difficult during transitions to stay within their own group.
Ella got separated from her group during one such transition. Despite her nerves, she mustered up the courage to approach a teacher and explain that she was lost. The teacher was very kind, took her by the hand, and reunited her with her group.
When Ella got home from VBS, she related the incident to her mom, Melissa, and followed it up with a question: “Mom, tomorrow I start Horse Camp. What if I get lost there?”
Melissa explained to her what would happen at Horse Camp during the day and what she should do if she got lost.
After their conversation, Ella said: “I’m going to write myself a note and put it in my pocket so I don’t forget.”
A few hours later, Brian, her dad, found this note on the kitchen counter:
“You are brave.
You are loved.
You can do this!”
This is Ella’s self-talk.
To know that these words, words she hears from her mom and dad frequently, have embedded themselves in her heart and mind…. What a parent WIN.
I have grappled with negative self-talk; and, to be honest, sometimes still do. To know that this will not be part of Ella’s life journey…it just melts my heart.
I am so filled with gratitude toward our son and daughter-in-law for their exceptional parenting style.
P.S. If you’re wondering about the question marks, she’s still learning about punctuation.