Have you ever wondered how your mindset affects your child? That’s right; even what goes on in your head may make a huge impact on your child’s development, helping to shape them into the person that they will become. This article explains four ways that your mindset maybe affecting your child and how you can use this to their benefit.
Learn to Expect the Best
It might not be wise to envision your children as perfect little angels; however, it’s important not to expect the worst from them either. Children and teenagers often feed off the image we have of them. In other words, if you expect the worse, you’re going to get just that! As soon as we perceive that something is going to happen, our minds begins to go on the defensive – even if it’s not intentional.
For instance, if you go to pick your child up from school and anticipate that they will argue about hating school, then everything they happen to say about their day will sound like negativity in your ears. This will most likely lead to a fight because you are already prepared to deal with a confrontation and your child finds themselves forced into the roll. Always try to approach your children with a clean mindset, whether it’s when you pick them up at school or wake them up in the morning, allowing them the chance of a fresh start.
The Underachiever Dilemma
Do you boo when your favorite ball team misses the basket? Do you complain for days about them being “losers” if they don’t win the game? If so, then you are probably sending out a message to your children without even knowing it. Even if you are unaware of it, children are paying careful attention to your attitude, discovering for themselves that, unless you win, then you aren’t worth much. This mindset can lead children to be nervous about trying new things or struggling to better themselves; rather, they will only want to do things that they can “win at” without facing the risk of failure. So, the next time you’re watching sports and your team looses, look for positive ways to talk about them. Say things like “They played a good game” or “I can really see that they’ve been working hard; next year, they’ll be even better”. Let children know that just because you don’t win every time, doesn’t mean that you’re an automatic failure.
Your Image of Your Child
Children can sense more than we often realize. If you have a low image of your child, they are likely to have a low image of themselves. Feeling that they are unloved and less than what you want, children may rebel or simply pull deeply into themselves. Rather than focus on the negative characteristics of your child, try to focus on the positive. Above all else, always keep in mind and display the fact that all your children are loved equally and unconditionally.
Time to Cool Off
Contrary to the beliefs of some, taking time to cool off does not indicate a pathetic, indecisive parent. When you get in an argument or find yourself suddenly frustrated, it is best to send your child to their room while you take a few minutes to collect yourself. Let your child know that you simply need some time to yourself. After you have spent a few minutes thinking back over the situation, you will be better able to decide if the argument is worth continuing and if your child really deserves a punishment. Not only will this make you a better, more fair parent, but it will also teach children that it’s best to stay calm and not fly off the handle when one is mad.
While it is almost frightening that children are so quick to pick up on our mindset, this can easily be used as a good thing. Rather than allowing your mood to tear your child down; encourage them to succeed with your positive mindset.
[Growing up with a father as a mechanic, William J. Lee has always loved and now actively follows the automobile industry. In particular he focuses on Toyota dealers and Toyota dealerships.]
Image: Pink Sherbet Photography at Flickr