imconfident

I sincerely believe that it is far more beneficial and far less costly to help a child build confidence than it is to fix an adult who has little or none.

Which child feels more loved?

on December 12, 2018

This is a story about 2 little girls called Sarah and Sally.  Their parents love both of them dearly but one of them doesn’t feel very loved.  After reading this story, you can decide which one I am talking about.

Sarah is 9 years old and is a very easy-going child.  She is bright and attentive and likes to help the rest of the family.  Sally is 8 years old and is a very active and curious child.  She is always trying new things and gets very frustrated when they don’t work out as she expected.

Here is an example of what happens on a school morning.  Mom calls both of the girls to get up and get dressed.  In about 10 minutes, Sarah comes downstairs all dressed and ready to go.  Her mom butters her toast and asks if her sister is up.  “No, I haven’t heard her moving around yet”, Sarah replies.

Mom has to leave for work soon, so she runs upstairs to Sally’s room.  “Sally get up now.  You are going to be late again!”  Sally sits up in bed and rubs her eyes.  10 minutes later, she drags herself to the kitchen table.   ‘My goodness Sally!  Did you sleep in your clothes?  Why can’t you look neat and tidy like your sister.  Go upstairs now and put on a clean blouse.  And hurry up or you won’t have time for breakfast!”

Finally Sally comes down looking fairly nice, grabs a piece of toast and sits down.  “Sally, put on your shoes while you are eating.  The school bus will be here in a few minutes.  Your sister is already waiting on the porch.”

Which sister do you think left the house feeling loved?

It is pretty obvious.  The mother feels frustrated at her one child and rightly so.  But a little patience and encouragement would have helped the situation a lot better and created a positive environment for the children and the mother.  Comparing children is a really bad idea and it will create bad feelings between them.  All children are different and should be treated with respect.

What could the mother have done that would have had better results?

  • Instead of yelling at the child who has difficulty getting up, mom could have just come into her room and gently woke her up with a “Good morning, see you downstairs in a few minutes.”
  • Instead of getting angry with the rumpled clothing, mom could have said, “I think your blouse needs to be washed, it looks a bit dirty.   Why don’t you drop it in the clothes hamper and run up to your room and grab a clean one from your closet”.
  • Instead of pointing out that her (perfect) sister Sarah was all ready and waiting for the bus, mom could have said, “Can you quickly put on your shoes while eating your toast and then join your sister on the porch, please?”

It is difficult to watch what we say to our children, especially when we feel tired and stressed.  However, our words can have a terrible effect on our children if we aren’t careful and we can get stuck in a habit of negatively talking all the time.

Developing a habit of positive self-talk takes a lot of time and patience but it will benefit everyone around us: our families, our children, our friends and even ourselves.

 

 


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