Teaching Children to Use Positive Self-Talk
by Shari Steelsmith
Tipâ€”One of the best methods for teaching children positive self-talk is to model it yourself.
Our kids are often frustrated. The subject of homework instantly comes to my mind when I think of my kids getting frustrated but there are a myriad of other causes: learning a new task, dealing with siblings, etc. Both of my kids, now 11 and 8, are easily frustrated when doing math homework. My son, particularly, grouses when he gets stuck and makes dramatic statements like, This is horrible! I’ll never figure this out! Or, hate math! I’m no good at it. Link to book description
I get concerned when I hear him make comments like this because I know that how we talk to ourselves makes a real difference in how quickly or easily we accomplish tasks. Parent educator Elizabeth Crary, author of the Self-Calming Cards, notes that Self-talk strongly colors the mind. It impacts what we feel, see, and do I tell my children that their brains believe what they say, whether it’s true or not. I will usually prompt them to repeat a better statement, such as, This is hard, but I can do it., Although I do intervene in this way, I still wonder if there’s another way I could teach them to use positive self-talk. It turns out, there are more things I can do.
Tools Crary recommends, first, monitoring your own self-talk, both out loud and mentally. If you find yourself making negative comments, she says to think about the following points: 1) You’re loveable, even though you’re not perfect, 2) You’re capable, even though things are not going well at present, 3) You are growing and getting better, and 4) You sometimes do (whatever it is you’re currently struggling with) just fine. For example, I’m getting better at being on time. I had the kids to school on time every day last week.
As for teaching your children positive self-talk, Crary recommends the following tools:
Model using positive self-talk. Do this out-loud for your kids to hear. For example, if someone is rude to you, you could say, I am in charge of my feelings. I will take a deep breath and then decide what to do.
Give affirming messages. You can say to your children things like, It is okay to be angry or You can be upset and still think of what to do.
Model changing negative self-talk. When you say something negative, change it to something more constructive. For example, can’t believe how stupid I am. Oops. I meant to say, Sometimes I make mistakes, but I’m learning from them and I can do better next time.
This material has been adapted from Self-Calming Cards by Elizabeth Crary, M.S.
Taking It To Heart – How Small Self-Talk Can Create Big Self-Love
Taking It To Heart – How Small Self-Talk Can Create Big Self-Love
By Alexandra Watson
Article Word Count: 671 [View Summary] Comments (0)
As women we talk… a lot. Not only do we like to talk to friends and loved ones, we also spend quite a bit of time talking to ourselves. The truth is talking to yourself is not a sign of madness as some would have you believe, but something we do naturally and constantly. Its this small self talk that counts because if we do talk to ourselves a lot, then it is essential to ensure that what we say is kind, patient, understanding and supportive, otherwise we have an inbuilt critique and an overly-harsh one at that!
Can you imagine if you had someone following you about all day criticizing every single thing that you did? It would literally drive you crazy! Yet this is what we do to ourselves and more often than not we donâ€™t even know we are doing it. Subconsciously or not these words still affect our feelings of self-confidence and self-love. Why? Because we are being disapproving of ourselves. We are rejecting our own abilities and if we do that others are sure to follow.
Judging, criticizing or disapproving is our way of trying to ensure we raise our standards and do better or achieve more. We want to act more professionally or more intelligently. Although it is understandable that we want to be the best we can, but is it really acceptable to talk to ourselves that way? Surely being the best you can involves happiness, joy, laughter and inner-peace? These can only be achieved ifâ€¦guess what?…Yep thatâ€™s right!…We love ourselves!
Imagine that you have just been to a very important meeting. For some reason you didnâ€™t feel that you were at your best, you know, you werenâ€™t firing on all cylinders. You come out of the meeting, very upset and go to the restroom for privacy and to pace up and down calling yourself an idiot, saying things like, â€˜why didnâ€™t I say this?â€™ Or â€˜what is wrong with me?â€™ Now you have created a situation that can only get worse. If you ask yourself these types of questions you are only going to get negative answers like, â€˜because you didnâ€™t prepare thoroughly,â€™ or â€˜you did it again! I knew you would fold!â€™ How can you possibly come up with better ideas, solutions, or performance levels if you beat yourself up so badly?
As a kid I am sure you remember that when you were applauded, understood or supported by a friend or your family it made you feel great, no matter how badly you thought you did. It is the same today. If you support, applaud and understand your performance everyday no matter what, then you will not only feel better about yourself, your level of competence will increase too.
Being more compassionate with yourself will help nurture your growth and development not only professionally, but personally too. Again this will reap massive rewards for you and your loved ones as it is a great lesson to show your children. Teach them how to communicate with themselves positively in this highly-competitive world.
Each day begin to notice what you are saying to yourself and as you do check that it is positive. If it isnâ€™t then you need to reword it immediately. Be compassionate, be understanding and patient. It’s ok to have a bad day or even a bad week and if you can develop a habit of positive small talk everyday situations become lighter, more fun and less daunting or stressful.
Alexandra Watson has helped countless women create happy and fulfilling lives through her happiness system. She has developed a fool-proof, easy-to-follow seven step system to happiness that any woman can use and see results fast. John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus calls Alexandra’s book The Happiness System for Women ‘a vibrant and exciting journey to the centre of your soul’. Alexandra has featured internationally on TV, radio and in many publications. She can be contacted by email on: HappinessAuthor@aol.com or visit her website at http://www.AlexandraWatson.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
BYUCougars.com – Self-Talk
Self-talk is the quiet, and in some cases not so quiet, conversations that you have with yourself prior to, during, and after your performances. Self-statements like “way to go,” “you can do it,”or “you’re an idiot” are examples of self-talk during performances. What you tell yourself directly effects how you feel and perform. Positive self-talk enhances a your confidence and improves your ability to perform well. Negative self-talk often leads to feelings like doubt, fear, or anxiety which limit your ability to perform up to your true potential. By improving your self-talk, you can stay more focused during practice and competition, motivate yourself to perform better, and experience greater success.
I like to use the following analogy when I teach this skill. Pretend you are teaching a child how to shoot a basketball. You would demonstrate how, explain the important aspects of this skill, and then encourage her to do her best. If she made the shot, you would reinforce what she did well and give genuine praise. “Way to go Jennie, I liked your follow-through!” If she missed, you would encourage her and give her some brief instructional feedback. “Its okay, bend your knees and focus on your target.” This type of teaching comes natural when we keep the right perspective. However, many performers lose the proper perspective when they critique their own performance. When they do well they seldom praise themselves or minimize their success. They just expect to do well all of the time. “Finally, why couldn’t have I started playing better earlier in the game?” Nevertheless, performers tend to be very critical of themselves and their abilities when they do not perform well. They are impatient, negative, and engage in self-talk that lowers their confidence and their belief that they can succeed. “You can’t do anything right, you don’t belong at this level of competition.” Imagine talking to a young performer like you talk to yourself. In many cases, you would take the fun out of performing and ruin the youngsters confidence. The obvious conclusion is to use self-talk that teaches, inspires, motivates, and enables you to believe in yourself and have fun. You can be your greatest fan or your worst enemy. You decide, the choice is yours!
Awareness is often the first step to change. You can only change your self-talk when you can identify what it is that you are saying to yourself. Next time you perform, be aware of your internal dialogue with yourself. After the performance, journal how well you performed, your level of confidence, and what you said to yourself that impacted your performance in a positive or negative way. Think of past performances and try to remember your self-talk. Watch yourself on videotape to help recall your emotions and thinking. Have your coach or teammates help you monitor your verbalizations during practice or competition. These are all ways to monitor what you say to yourself.
To change your self-talk you simply need to stop your negative verbalizations and thinking as soon as you notice it happening. Say “stop!,” use a cue word or phrase to help you refocus such as, “be positive,” clear your mind by taking a couple of deep breaths, or replace your negative self-statement, “its over, give up” with its positive counterpart “keep fighting, you can do it.” The main point is to stop the negativity, be positive, and perform with a clear mind. Changing your self-talk requires desire on your part to use more positive self-talk, an awareness of your self-statements, and persistent practice and effort.
Directions: Complete this written exercise shortly after a practice or competition. Your assignment is to identify important events that occurred prior to or during your performance, your self-talk about those situations, and the emotional and performance consequences. You will then identify new ways of thinking in the future under similar circumstances and speculate about how the new thinking will lead to better results. I will give you an example to follow.
What happened during my performance?
I missed an important free-throw late in the game.
What did I tell myself about the situation?
“You’re a choker, you blew your opportunity to win the game in regulation.”
What effect did it have on my emotions and performance?
My shooting confidence, especially from the free throw line, suffered during the overtime period. I passed up open shots even when I had good looks at the baskets and missed 3 out 4 free-throws during overtime. My muscles were tense and I was thinking too much instead of just relaxing and playing the game. The game wasn’t fun, it was stressful.
What could I do or say differently in the future under similar circumstances?
I could say, “hey, everyone misses a free-throw from time to time.” “I’ll make the next one.” “Just relax and enjoy the game.” “Trust in your ability to shoot the ball well, you are a good shooter.” “I love the pressure situation and will make the other team pay for fouling me.”
How might that improve my emotional state and performance?
I would probably play more relaxed and my confidence would not fluctuate based upon my makes. I would also enjoy the game more.
For assistance in identifying ways to improve your self-talk contact:
Ron Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
Re: There are none so blind…
“There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know. The proverb has been traced back in English to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse quoted (above). In 1738, it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation,’ and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’…”
LPO: Wise Self Talk and the Secret of Energy
Wise Self Talk and the Secret of Energy
By Tom Russell, SuperWisdom Ezine reprinted with permission
There was once a man who was on a path leading to the top of a high mountain. The man could see the mountaintop far away on the horizon. The path went through several villages. And at each village a curious thing happened. Several citizens would gather and throw ropes at him. In the beginning he would take hold of the ropes, trying to be friendly. But as soon as he did they would attempt to pull him off his path.
The traveler soon learned not to grab hold of the ropes. He saw through the tricks of the villagers. They wanted nothing to do with the path he was on. Furthermore, they wanted him to stop his journey and settle down with them.
From then on the ropes would flop right on the ground in front of him. Occasionally he would see himself almost forgetting as he started to reach down and pick up the rope. But he stopped himself in time. He refused to pick it up! And he learned to bear the wrath of those who threw them. They most certainly didn’t like it that he was independent.
The traveler made it all the way to the top of the majestic mountain. The view was vast and the air was pure. Eagles and other rare birds flew around the mountaintop. There was a mountain lake with refreshing water. There was everything his heart had longed for. And it all was his because he refused to catch the ropes!
The Power of Self-Talk
Spiritual self-talk is a tremendous tool for developing your power of choice. It helps you expand the brief moment of decision between stimulus and response.
And here’s where the following 18 super-thoughts come into practice. They activate your power of choice! They keep you aware in those brief seconds of time just before you reach for the rope. They are enormously powerful. But they have to be applied! That is the thing about SuperWisdom, it has to be placed into practice in your daily life.
Here are the 18 most powerful things you can say to yourself:
1. All too often we slip into silent mental arguments with people. These mental movies are a huge energy drain. When you see yourself starting to drift into a mental argument with someone say to yourself, “There are higher things to think about.”
2. The SuperWisdom Notebooks often refer to the enormous power of instant recovery. You don’t have to be caught by the past, either recent or distant. Now is new! You need not obey five minutes ago or five years ago. Say to yourself often, “I am new now!”
3. With the following declaration you can catch depression, anxiety or any negative emotion when it first appears. It is like a snowball rolling down a hill. At the top of the hill the snowball is small and can easily be stopped. Negativity is the same way. It is very weak when it first starts to form. At the first sign of negativity from others or your own thoughts say, “I need not let you enter my life and take over my mind.”
4. So much mental anguish is caused by defending ourselves when we make a mistake. If you are going to be a concert pianist or an airline pilot or a professional sales person, you most certainly will make mistakes. It is part of the learning process. People who are afraid to make mistakes never grow. Free yourself! Give yourself permission to make mistakes. And when you see you’ve made one be quick to say, “I am wrong.”
5. One of the interesting things about the spiritual journey is that just before a breakthrough to a new and higher level your inner world becomes shaky and confused. A part of you wants to go back and settle down with the stability you’ve been experiencing. But you can’t go back. New and greater things are just ahead for you. When you see this happening don’t try to hold things together. Say to yourself, “I wonder what will happen if I go a little further?”
6. Fear was once beautifully defined as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” Anytime you feel fear approaching there is only one way through itâ€”DO IT ANYWAY! Say to yourself, “I’m going to call the bluff and see what happens.”
7. We really have only one problemâ€”we don’t remember our spiritual lessons! If we could remember to apply what we already know, swift success would follow. It can be very difficult to remember in this nutty world, but with the following you’ll see yourself remembering more often. When you remember your lessons right in the middle of the challenge you take a giant step upwards. Say to yourself, “What do I need to remember?”
8. You can use the following statement whenever you see a rope tossed at you in an attempt to make you negative. You can use it with people, the media, your own thoughts, everything! With this statement you are free! Nothing can touch you. Why? Because you do not react! You do not grab hold. You simply say to yourself, “I have nothing to say to that.”
9. We need a super powerful technique to overcome the spin of the inner world. Like a hamster in a cage, the mind wants to spin around and around. This is a giant waste of energy. But how do we stop it? Often, throughout the day, you can use the following statement to remind yourself of the present moment. Notice the contrast between the spin state and the awareness state. Which feels better? Say to yourself often, “I am here.”
10. The few people pursuing genuine self-transformation are willing to contemplate a truth that is most unpopular. This truth is a giant spiritual bulldozer that destroys the old house of fear and anguish. Once the old house is knocked down the lot is cleared and construction begins on a new and modern high rise building. This very unpopular Truth will lead to swift growth. Say to yourself, “The pain is in me, not out there.”
11. The further we go on the spiritual journey the more a definite attitude begins to form — We see that challenging and demanding experiences are a good thing for our development. In the beginning we thought it was all about peace and comfort. But we come to see that we really don’t grow in comfort. We grow when things are rough. We learn the most when all our inner resources are challenged. This is a request to the Universe, to the power that is the author of self-transformation. Say, “More please of whatever I need.”
12. Sensitive gauges tell operators when their equipment reaches high pressure zones. Likewise, we too have super sensitive instruments inside of us. Like our ears and our eyes, they are organs already present. But they have to be developed. Their efficient operation will release abundant new energies. How do you bring them back to life? Ask yourself, “Am I in a negative state right now?”
13. If you could find a way to meet every challenge, a way that would guarantee success because it guarantees an inner victory, what would you do? There is such a method and it’s right here. It is based on the supreme law of life, The Law of Growth. Human beings are either regenerating or they are degenerating. There is no “staying the same.” When faced with any new challenge, any difficult person, any problem at all say to yourself, “Time to take the next step up.”
14. When you don’t pick up the ropes, what happens? Well, one thing is that the unaware person throwing them gets mad. “What gives you the right to refuse my demands?” they say by their brazen manner. Your freedom makes them very insecure. They will get angry, try to make you feel guilty, threaten you, and when that doesn’t work they will flip flop into the nicest, sweetest person you’ve ever seen. When that doesn’t work they will go back to anger again. Claim your freedom! You have a right to your own life. Let them get mad if they must. Say to yourself, “If you know what is best for me, why are you so miserable?”
15. The SuperWisdom Notebooks say, “Always leave a nut with his own nuttiness.” You don’t have to pick it up and carry it for him or her. What a relief to give up false sentimentality toward people! It is a sad but true fact that most people are stuck in the mud and want to stay there. But its lonely in the mud so they want to pull you in! Say to yourself, “That is your fear (or worry, problem, regret, etc) not mine.”
16. You can see how often in this article we’re given tools to apply toward other people. Other people are NOT our problem. Our problem is our own reaction and the fact that we grab the rope and yell GO! But since difficult people are this world’s most plentiful resource, it is imperative that we have several effective tools to deal with them. Here’s another one. Say to yourself, “No, I am not going to behave back to you the way you behaved to me.”
17. When doubts swirl around you, when hostility seeks to enter and maul your good feelings, when darts are thrown at you by vindictive people, when your own thoughts accuse you and tell you their favorite lie — “you’ll never make it,” when all this happens you can win every time by quietly and firmly telling the negativity, “You’ve got the wrong (man â€” woman).”
18. A great deal of wrong advice is given that centers around “self-esteem” and trying to see yourself with virtues you really don’t possess. Pretense is always painful. And pretense always blocks self-observation. You don’t have to pretend. You can know! The SuperWisdom Notebooks say to simply see yourself as a learner. This viewpoint of yourself is true and places enormous spiritual resources on your side. Say to yourself, “I want to understand what it’s all aboutâ€”I want to learn!”
Seeing negativity (from any source) as a rope that you do not have to grab brings everything into clear focus. We begin to understand that we really do have the power of choice. We also begin to see how we’ve been careless with this power because we were afraid to displease negative people and our own negative thoughts. Yes, there may well be a protest, both from others and from our habitual nature. But so what! The lofty and delightful feelings you will begin to experience will reinforce the fact that you’re on the right path at last.
And the affect on your sales work will be enormous. Since sales pros must often deal with a hundred or more negative ropes a day, applying Wise Self Talk will place you in a commanding zone. Your Power of Choice will be reclaimed and placed at the center of your self-development efforts. From it will flow a thousand lively streams. You’ll know you’ve found the Master Key at last. And you’ll be delighted at how practical it all is.
â€” Â© 1998 by Tom Russell, reprinted with permission.