• Vicky Poole

Do we claim our children's and hold it over them?

Our children are smarter than we think. We teach them words so that we can communicate. What we don’t realise is that the words we use project our opinion. We use words like “yes that’s right” and gradually it chips away at their self-belief. Within a few years, the child becomes obsessed with making others happy. They give away their power and spend a lifetime trying to get it back.

Young children have wild imaginations. Pirates. Fairies. Goblins. They draw pictures and we want them to be proud of their work and say, “wow that’s brilliant well done”. They run off to draw another one. The constant reinforcement of acceptance drives kids towards external acceptance, ‘normality’ and ‘in the box’ thinking. What happens when someone does not like the picture they drew, they feel the pang of rejection. The urge for acceptance is so strong that they strive to make them happy and redraw the picture.

We all have bad days or bad moods and sometimes there is no reason for it. If we experience emotional highs, we must experience the lows. When we become dependent on others for how we feel about ourselves then we give away our power to feel. Then we need external help to feel happy, search for acceptance and gratification. Buy flowers. DVD’s. Handbags. Trinkets.

The journey to inner happiness and contentment has no map. It always has the same starting point, belief. Belief in your opinion and perspective. If someone doesn’t share your opinion, that’s cool. That’s their opinion. Your opinion is right for you. When you catch yourself asking someone else opinion and feeling satisfaction in their response, you are out of your power. When you ask “what would you do to get this result”, this is you stepping into your power and owning it.

Reclaiming your self-belief is easy, it starts with acknowledging your successes as you define them. They could be getting out of bed; doing the washing; finishing university; or, making £1 million last year. Write your achievements down and speak them aloud daily. Build up your confidence in accepting your successes. To empower your children, simply ask them questions. “that’s a great picture, what made you draw that?” Reinforce their own beliefs in what was in their head. Encourage their individual thinking.

You may have lost your self-belief and you are searching for ways to get your power back. As a parent, you have the ability to teach your kids the skills, strategies and tactics to help them to hold onto their power for life. Encourage their individuality. Embrace and reframe their thoughts to spur them on with confidence.

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I hate my photo being taken. I always feel out of place. Like somehow, I’m going to be looked at. The main focus of peoples attention. I often end up acting the fool and then it’s always a joke photo.