Life Messages - Five Messages To Give Your Kids Every Day
By Michael Grose
Adults are always giving kids messages as they interact with them.
These messages range from managerial type (you left the towel on the floor
again) to messages that influence their self-esteem (you did that job
well). We also can give kids positive life messages that promote a sense
of resilience and provide clues about how they should think and behave
both now and in later years.
Here are five life messages that adults can give children every day:
1. I care for you.
Every person needs to feel that there is one person in their life who
cares for them unconditionally. The notion of caring is shown in a number
of ways. For teachers this can be construed as having a genuine interest
in the well-being of an individual children. Parents can express caring
through affection, genuine listening and providing opportunities for
2. You are unique.
It is an quandary that we are group oriented creatures but we all want to
feel important and unique. Remind children that as unique individuals they
have their own strengths, talents and ways of solving problems. Never
compare children to others and help each child focus on his or her
strengths, even if they are not in the areas that parents and teachers
3. You can handle life's difficulties.
By stepping back and allowing children to resolve some of their day-to-day
problems rather than resolving them ourselves or protecting them we show
faith in children's abilities to fend for themselves. If we can develop in
children a notion that "I can" rather than the notion of
"if the conditions are right, with a little bit of luck I can do
okay" then we provide them with reasons to be optimistic. When we
step back a little we give kids the opportunity to develop their
resourcefulness and initiative, which are two highly valued life skills.
4. You choose how you think, feel and behave.
An important life lesson to give children is that they have some control
over how they think, feel and behave. Whether they smile or not is a
choice that they make. They are not victims of emotions or events but they
can choose how they react when positive or negative events happen.
5. There is no feeling so bad that you can't talk about it.
One vital life skill is the ability to speak about emotional issues rather
than bottle feelings up or lash out at others. By acknowledging kids when
they feel sad, angry or scared, providing opportunities to talk about
feelings and giving them some strategies to deal with emotions we are
equipping kids with fantastic life tools.
It helps sometimes to step back and assess the types of messages
that we give children when we interact with them on a regular basis. Are
we giving them messages or clues that promote a sense or resiliency or do
we send messages that keep kids dependent on us as parents?
About the author: Michael Grose is a parenting and
work-life balance specialist who always makes good sense. Michael helps parents
raise happy, confident kids and resilient young people, through his parenting
courses, seminars, keynote presentations, books and articles. Visit his website
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