Poem by Dorothy Law Nolte If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn. If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight. If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy. If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty. If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient. If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence. If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate. If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice. If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith. If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself. If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.
This wonderful poem by Dorethy Law Nolte outlines how what we model for our children is what they then act out. Take some time and think about what you would like for them as they grow and become adults. I hear parents tell me
I want them to be happy
Ask yourself do you model happiness for them? Do you engage in activities that make you happy? Do you create opportunities for yourself that lead to happiness?
I want them to have good mental health
Ask yourself, do you take care of your mental health? Do you practice strategies that create a positive mental health for yourself
I want them to be kind
Do you practice genuine kindness for them to see?
I don’t want them to be like me
Ask yourself, what aspects of yourself do you not wish to pass on, then actively work on showing them something different.
We often believe that we can hide aspects of ourselves from our children but they see everything we do and read our energies of love, anxiety and fear. When we work on ourselves we support our children’s mental health as well as our own.
Let’s Talk About It
What would you like for your child as they grow and become adults?
What do you think you are currently modelling to your children to inspire them?