Children are our future, so it would be very wise to be super conscious how we care for them. And of course that is what every parent wants to do, and yet at times, the twists of life stop us sometimes from living up to our highest parenting ideals.
There is so much to learn about parenting and it can take around 20 years to learn what is needed and around four to five children to ‘experiment’ on! O gosh! We have a problem!
Somehow we have to learn to be great parents as we run through the maze of dirty nappies, upset children, sleepless nights and sharp-nail-and-broken-glass–covered passageways of inner guilt when we do things wrong. There is some respite available to you though as a parent in the thought that: you survived (and hopefully thrived) as a child. And that your life is probably better than your parents. So there is lots of hope as we learn together about how to become better parents.
The tip I would like to share today takes into account that what you say to your children thousands of times over a five year period WILL become a foundation stone in their lives.
Here is a statement to DELETE, ANNIHILATE, OBLITERATE and totally eradicate from your speech, and if possible your thinking:
WOW! You may not have realised that these so called caring words are in fact two of the most destructive words you can say to any child!
While you probably think you are being caring, you are in fact destroying a child’s natural curiosity and sense of adventure. When each and every time YOU feel fearful or concerned about your child’s activities and you reflect this to them with these two simple but ‘poisonous’ words, instead of protecting your child, you are instilling into them a set of inner beliefs that become foundation stones in their delicate developing psyche such that they believe the world to be:
Unsafe Fearful Problematic Restricted Dangerous Deadly ...
And seeing our beliefs create our reality, then having foundation stones that limit rather than expand our children’s world, is not what we want to create.
We do not really want our children to be careful else we would stop the activity they are involved in and remove them from harm. Instead we just want them to experiment WITH FOCUS so that they do not get hurt or hurt others. We really want our children to explore and discover new things and new ways to do things but WE also want to feel good about what they are doing.
I always like to look at the energy level of life experiences. The use of words will increase or decrease our and others energy levels. The words “be careful” always restrict energy. So in the case of a situation where a child IS in real danger and you cannot remove them from it right away, telling them to be careful at that point reduces their natural instincts and body functions so they could actually be more at risk from an accident! On the other hand “be focused” increases energy and also brings a child into the PRESENT, thereby increasing their natural instincts and abilities reducing their actual chances of having an accident or getting injured.
So the next time your child is doing something that makes YOU gasp and feel afraid but you want them to have a new experience use these new and powerful words. And in the mean time work on yourself (and get your friends and partners support) to remove the words “be careful” from your life and enjoy watching your children’s confidence in themselves expand as they are allowed to explore this amazing world more.
David Anttony is the father of 6 children and has been actively parenting four of them for 18 years ( the other two gained Angel wings!).