Dr. Maxwell Maltz found that the way we see ourselves directly relates to what we are capable of achieving. The beliefs we have about ourselves are a compilation of our past experiences and what others have told us since we were children.
Your child is going to believe what you tell him about himself. If you make consistent positive deposits to your child’s self-image, than your child will grow up believing he is capable of great things.
If your word deposits are negative than that is what your child will grow up believing. If the latter is the Your child will have to UN- learn the negative images that you have painted for him, whether you meant to or not.
Many times I run into parents who inform me that their son or daughter is “shy.” I particular take an interest in these children because I firmly believe that martial-arts are a great way to break them out of that shell!
I particularly remember a little girl who was just about to turn five years old. She was “tiny” and petite therefore her parents believed her stature controlled the confidence she had in herself. I’m not quit sure but I wouldn’t doubt if her parents told her things like “you’re smaller so be careful” Obviously if she was “small for her age” she would have figured that out and then asked why the other kids were bigger.
Never the less, the little girl was very hesitant to take classes. When she finally did a couple of lessons she did very well.
One evening her parents walked into the school appearing frustrated with her. They had her martial arts uniform in hand and began to explain that she did not want to take martial arts classes any more.
I very gently and with a lot of concern got down on one knee. I said in a warm loving caring tone: “Do you just not want to do martial arts class today or do you not want to do it ever again?” At this point she informed me that it was just today!
Her father became very angry and told her to “make up her mind!” It seemed to me as though this little girl was feeling a little bit of anxiety because it was just her third visit. We wanted to give her enough time for free until she felt comfortable. Usually this takes no longer than one to four classes - in most cases one.
The lesson I gather from this story is simple. The little girl was just living up to the shy label that her parents had given her in the months and years prior. She had actually stretched her self-image in the previous two visits, but like a rubber band snapping back was her parents’ conviction that she was shy. Do not label your kids unless you are one hundred percent sure the label will be one that you want them to live up to!
In my career working with parents I’ve seen parents whose message to their child’s self-image was positive and those whose messages were negative. Many parents make the mistake of labeling their children as shy, UN-coordinated, UN-disciplined, or quitters! Knowing what you now know I’m positive that you will be careful of the label you give your child.