Children with strong positive beliefs about their own social skills, learning skills and emotional skills have such a great resource to take them forward allowing them to not only create a wonderful life for themselves, but also to contribute positively to the lives of others.
So what are some of the things we can do to develop a strong belief system in the unconscious of our young children?
- Make up stories and repeat them (with or without variations) that demonstrate the kinds of values and characteristics you want your child to emulate.
- Play mostly music and songs that have the kinds of words you want to be repeated in your child’s subconscious.
- Be expressive with your loving feelings – let your child know how very loved they are in your words and actions. Try making up songs or games about how much you love each other.
- Allow your child to move through her/his own feelings and support them in those feelings rather than simply “fixing” the problem. For example, if your child is feeling left out, allow them the dignity of their feelings (don’t take them on yourself), and then once they’ve had a chance to express them, help them brainstorm potential solutions. Encourage them to try different options and talk about what happens.
- Find out where your child’s blocks may be through games. For example, in his book The Optimist Child, psychology professor Martin Seligmann outlines simple, fun, “detective-based” approaches parents can use to help uncover their children’s negative beliefs, and support them in developing more accurate and more empowering positive beliefs.
- Find ways to express anger in appropriate and safe ways.