“The way we talk to our children becomes our inner voice” - Peggy O’Mara
How were you spoken to as a child?
Were you told “you’re such a good girl for tidying up” or were you thanked? Were you told “Don’t be naughty!” Or was the situation explained to you? Were you told “eat your dinner like a good boy” or were you encouraged to enjoy your food and eat only what your body needed?
Were you told the facts about your behaviour or someone else’s opinions? Being “good” isn’t defined by behaviour, it’s within us.
Do you seek others’ approval? Do you often worry whether you’ve upset someone? Do you worry that you’re being judged? Do you downplay your achievements? Do you struggle to say no, even when you want to? Do you fear criticism? Are you afraid of making mistakes? Do you seek perfection? Do you feel pressure to live up to other people’s expectations?
Does any of this resonate? If so, then it’s likely that you’ve fallen victim to what I like to call “good girl” or “good boy” syndrome.
If you were constantly told that you’re a “good girl” or “good boy” it’s possible that, even as an adult, you are still feeling the effects of that now. You still feel pressure to always “BE good” no matter what you feel, or what your heart is telling you.
And do you want that pressure for your own children? I’m pretty sure you don’t.
A small tweak of our language when we talk to our children can make all the difference. So let’s start stating the facts and show some gratitude. “You helped tidy up, and now the room is clear. Thank you.” “Thank you for helping me make dinner. Now we have a tasty meal to share!”
Our experiences are our lessons and our children are our teachers.
Don’t be good. Be kind. Be generous. Be sparky. Be courageous. Be funny. Be assertive. Be opinionated. Be passionate. Be stubborn. Be competitive. Be free. Be grateful. Be who you truly are. Because none of these are bad, and good is boring anyway!
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