Parents are the most important people in a child’s life. Even as adults, kids, knowingly or not, seek the approval of their first caregivers. It’s just in our biology.
Your child sees themselves first through your eyes, and as a result, the way you speak about your child becomes their inner voice.
Can you think back to something you remember your mother or father (insert grandmother or uncle or whomever raised you) saying about you that always stuck? Was it “That Kathleen, she is always a mess” or “Our Michael is cute but he’s too shy.” Or maybe you were lucky enough for it to be “Our Sammy is so energetic and playful!”
When I listen to adults talk about the children in their lives, I often notice that the “frustrating” behaviors they are describing are behaviors that will eventually make them a successful adult. They are positive characteristics that just don’t fit into the way our society currently desires children to behave. But I caution us to pay more attention. A child who always seems to question authority may become the next Susan B Anthony. One who seems to never take things seriously, may become the next Jimmy Fallon. We can never be sure of which path our children will take.
Reframing how you think about your kids will help to strengthen the bond you have with them. It will also help their inner voice tune into their true potential, and guide their inner compass.
Kids want to know we think they are awesome. So it is with this that I challenge you to begin looking at children in a different way. I have provided some ideas below to help you get started.
|Bossy||A leader, Assertive, Confident|
|ADHD||Great multitasker, Imaginative, Spontaneous|
|Manipulative||Resourceful, Perceptive, Intuitive|
|Never listens||Follows his/her own intuition, Knows what he/she wants|
|Defiant||Strong Willed, Determined, Enthusiastic|
|Lazy||Care free, Easy going|
|Attention Seeking||Wants to feel important|
|Pushy||Confident in his/her ideas|
|OCD/Rigid||Diligent, values order, has a strong sense of justice|
Was this helpful? Email me your thoughts and experiences trying this technique at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you feeling like the daily struggle is just too much? Are you worried your child may have needs that extend beyond what you are currently able to offer them? Do you live in Central New York? If you are interested in learning more about psychotherapy and play therapy for your child I can be reached at 315-737-3094 or email@example.com
Jennie Mazza Jones, LCSW, CCPT has a private practice located in Clinton NY, where she specializes in providing psychotherapy to children and their caregivers utilizing Play Therapy. Jennie helps kids who long to feel accepted, want to do well, and wish they could control their worries, anger, and behaviors, but struggle because they communicate in a way that many adults don't understand. She also helps parents/caregivers who want to help the important children in their lives reach their truest potential, but are afraid to make the wrong move, fear the worst, or are just unsure of what to do next. Jennie can be reached 315-737-3094, firstname.lastname@example.org and www.jenniemazzajones.com