I am best known for teaching kids how to create their own empowering identity. In other words, how do they finish the statement, "I am..."
Whether an elementary school student or a corporate CEO, how a person finishes that statement defines who they are, their beliefs about themselves and their world, and the standards they live by. It is their identity. It is the driving force behind the behaviors exhibited both in public and in private. Psychologists and Psychiatrists will tell you that it is nearly impossible for a person to consistently act in a manner that is not congruent with his or her identity. So the question is, how do we get out kids to have identities that empower them rather than hinder them as they grow? Are You Holding Your Kids Back From Success?
More from YourTango: What I Learned From My Daughter
Kids are born as blank slates. They don't have all the self doubt, self pity and other negative BS (belief systems) that many adults demonstrate on a regular basis. If they were born with those traits, most children would never walk, speak or feed themselves. They would give up after a handful of failed attempts. In their minds, kids were born to be successful. They adapt. They overcome. They persevere.
So, what happens as kids grow up? How do the self doubts and negative beliefs creep in? There is an old saying, "People will live up to, or down to, your expectations." That is only partially true. The truth is that people will live up to their expectations. The problem is most people—children or adults—have never given conscious thought to what they expect from themselves. That being the case, how do kids know what to expect from themselves? They learn from the people around them—mostly their parents, older siblings, and teachers. As a parent or adult role model, it is imperative that you discuss and demonstrate what you expect from your kids and what they should expect from themselves. 3 Powerful Parenting Secrets
More from YourTango: 5 Lessons Adults Should Learn From Kids
This brings us to Parenting Secret #1 for Empowering Kids: Be Great! In my house, we have a ritual that we say goodbye to each of our children as they are leaving for school, a sporting event or just to go out. I'm sure you have a similar ritual. You kiss them. You hug them. You tell them you love them. With excitement and enthusiasm, the last thing we say to them is "be great!" They then reply with matching vigor, "I am!"
It seems like a little thing, and it is, just like an individual brick is a little thing. But when combined with other tools and materials (like the other nine parenting secrets for empowering kids), each brick provides the foundation upon which an empowering belief system is built. It takes time to create habits and thought patterns. According to different experts, it can range from days to weeks. I've found about 21 days to be the norm for creating lasting effects. Multiple times each day your child will be reminded that he or she is great. Their verbal and physical response then anchors the same affirmation in their subconscious mind. Over time, the connections between different parts of their brain grow to be so strong that it literally becomes part of their brain chemistry. "We Have No Chemistry": What Does He Mean?