4 Positive Ways To Shape Your Child’s Inner Voice

As a parent, the power of your words can have a serious impact on a young child, and how they perceive not only the world but themselves.

In fact, studies show how you speak to your child while they are young, can actually determine their own inner voice.

If you speak ill words to your child, you can damage their self-esteem for life. But if you speak life into their spirit, you have the ability to help your child grow up to be a healthy, well-functioning adult.

Here are 4 ways you can use to help shape your child’s inner voice, for good, and instill lasting confidence to their inner being:

1. Speak Life: How do you handle personal setbacks in life? Are you always complaining? Getting into arguments with clerks in the store or other family members?

Take note, your children are paying attention.

How you speak to others will demonstrate to your child what the world is really like.

If you are constantly calling others stupid, lazy, or pathetic, you could create fear in your child, that they could be next on your anger outburst.

Your Modern Family reported on the importance of words:

“You can’t take back words like “lazy” or “dumb” or “thoughtless” or “mean”  – once they are out there, they stay out there.  Your kids continue to hear these words in their heads.”

But if you teach your child to speak respectfully to others, they will learn healthy boundaries and develop their own inner confidence.

2. Aim For Excellence, Not Perfection: Perfection is unattainable. Many children grow up with perfectionist parents who continue to force their children to obtain an unachievable goal.

While you should always teach your children to truly do the best they can do, and help them cultivate their natural talent, remember to keep realistic expectations.

If your child gets all A’s, except for 2 B’s, don’t berate them on how their B’s should be A’s.

Take time to celebrate their accomplishments.

If it’s obvious they are struggling with a particular subject, work with them. Either take the time to tutor them, or hire a personal tutor.

Use this struggle as an opportunity to show them that it’s okay to not be the best at everything, but it’s still good to continue to aim to be the best one can be.

Creating young perfectionists will only create adult workaholics in life, always chasing the unattainable goal.

3. Teach Them, They Matter: Children don’t yet know who they are. They are still figuring out their dislikes and preferences, as they face massive pressure from the world to fit into certain stereotypes.

Don’t make it worse for them.

If your little girl likes football, let her like football! Don’t force her to be a ballerina, if she doesn’t like to dance.

During this critical phase in your child’s life, it’s important to teach them their likes/dislikes matter.

If not, children will grow up confused, and unsure of their identity.

One of the worst things you can tell a child is “I don’t care what you think”, or “Your opinions don’t matter in this house.”

With that, you are still the parent.

If your child decides he doesn’t like vegetables, so he’s not eating them, obviously as the parent you need to let your child know their opinion is noted, but they still have to eat their vegetables.

But when it comes to developing their skill set and interests, don’t force them to be an athlete, if their passion is art or writing.

4. Discipline In Love: Ever hear the phrase, love the sinner, hate the sin?

Well, the same goes with raising a child. Yes, your child will mess up. They may lie. They may not follow the rules, or flat out stubbornly disobey your directions.

While it’s critical to teach your children this is not okay, there is a difference between punishing them, vs. punishing what they did.

For example, instead of telling a child “You’re a bad boy, you can’t do anything right”, try something like “I’m upset you chose not to listen to my instructions. Whenever I tell you to do something, it’s because I love you, and I’m trying to keep you safe. I still love you, but what you did is not okay.”

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And then actually take the time to teach your child the lesson. Such as holding mommy’s hand while crossing a busy street is important to keep them safe. Or turning off electronics before bed is so they can get a good night’s rest.

You can still teach consequences for misbehaving, without shaming a child.

Your Modern Family spoke on the importance of making sure your child knows they are loved, even when they misbehave:

“When our kids do something that I disapprove of, I often start with “I love you so much.  Your choice today made me really sad, and it wasn’t what I expected from you”  or I will discipline them and talk to them afterwards.   I tell our kids, every day, “I love you all the time.  I love you when I am happy or sad.  I love you when I am excited or angry.  I love you when you make good choices and bad choices.  I love you when you are home or away” … (list goes on & on).”

Words have the power to build up or destroy a child. And once a word is uttered out loud, it can never be taken back.

Choose your words carefully, when speaking to your child. Children’s brains retain more information than we think.

And as a parent, you have an amazing opportunity to plant positive words of encouragement into your child’s mind, that will stay with them for the rest of their life.

What are some ways you use words to encourage your child?

Do you agree with the power of words?

How do you think parents should best discipline their children when they misbehave?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.