Positive Path Recommended Reading

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 one-on-one time.

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 value highly.

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 at www.parentingideas.com.au

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