You’ve all seen the principle of positive thinking in action: a man or woman who’s always ready with a smile or a laugh, even in the face of extreme adversity, or a man or woman who seems to walk around under a dark cloud, even though it appears that he or she has everything good in life. The difference between them is not what they’ve experienced in life; it’s how they’ve reacted to what they’ve experienced. What we think and how we translate our thoughts into an internal dialogue (what we think about what happens to us), causes us to feel a certain way. In other words, a negative thought can make us feel good. It’s not the situation that causes us to feel good or bad, it’s how we interpret the situation that determines how we feel.

The Power of Words

In all my years of teaching, I’ve never met a parent who consciously wanted to destroy his or her child’s self-esteem. Yet without realizing it, that’s exactly what many parents have done. Over the years, I’ve made it a point to ask parents in my classes how often they thought they gave a negative message to their child. Based on the hundreds I interviewed, the average seemed to be about ten negative messages a day That means that by the time a child reaches the age of eighteen, he’s heard over 65,000 negative messages from one or both parents if the child was part of an extremely negative family, he could have heard as many as 130,000 by age eighteen.

When these same parents were asked how many positive messages they could remember hearing as children from their own parents, most could only recall hearing four or five in their entire life.

Sadly, some couldn’t remember hearing one single positive message from their parents when they were children. This indicates that most children hear only four or five positive messages, contrasted with 65,000 or more negatives during their entire childhood. Now can you see why so much of what you say to yourself is negative? We actually take over where our Parents left off, it is no wonder the researchers have found that almost 80 percent of what we think about as adults is negative.

Negative Messages
  1. Just who do you think you are?
  2. Why can’t you do anything right?
  3. Watch where you’re going.
  4. Shame on you!
  5. You make me so mad.
  6. I don’t know what to do with you.
  7. Why can’t you behave?
  8. Will you just shut up?
  9. You are impossible.
  10. When will you ever learn?
  11. You make me sick.
  12. You are hopeless.
  13. Positive, Messages
    1. I’m really proud of you.
    2.  You always come up with such great ideas.
    3. You’re a very special person.
    4. You are so smart.
    5. Everyone loves you.
    6. I love you just the way you are
    7. You’ll go far in life.
    8. I’m so glad you’re mine.
    9. You can handle anything.
    10. You are such a caring person.
    11. I’m so glad you were born.
    12. You always do the right thing.
    13. We can never underestimate the power of words. These messages may appear to be harmless, but heard often enough, these messages can destroy a child’s self-esteem. Replace the negativity you learned as a child with positive thoughts and messages for your child. Remember this most important point: Your brain believes what you tell it most.

      Excerpt from “How Can We Light a Fire When the Kids Are Driving Us Crazy?” by Ellen Kreldman. Note about the author. Ellen is an alumna of Hippocrates Health Institute. During her stay, she conducted a lecture on her bestselling books “Light His Fire” and “Light Her Fire”. She intends to return regularly to the Institute not only as a guest but as a lecturer on relationships.

      Vol 15 Issue 2 Page 2

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