I owe my positive qualities to my fantastic and hard-working mother, and I think that my favourite of these qualities is my inner voice. Even though I gave a healthy teenage dose of eye-rolling and ‘you’re just saying that because you’re my mom’, these bits of praise inwardly warmed me and gradually became my inner voice over the years. How did my mom do this successfully? These were the days before Instagram, Google and unlimited advice from every imaginable perspective. I think we are all in luck, because I can’t think of any other drive behind this except for pure love and adoration that peeks through the frustration of raising 5 mouthy balls of hormones. I truly can’t remember any time that my mom made be feel stupid, irratating or unloved.
I’ve tapped into the strength of my inner voice throughout my life and it’s something that I want to pass on to Alexander and Madeleine. We are all familiar with the negative voice that tells us that everyone else is a much better cook, mother, partner or friend. Underneath this voice, there is a much more powerful presence that has been built up during childhood. As a parent, we have an opportunity to form our child’s inner voice and this is perhaps one of the most weighty jobs we have in our portfolio.
Our dream is to make your life as a parent easier. Easier to bond. Easier to educate. Easier to empower.
One of the ways we can do this is with this beautiful printable art card and a few insights into feeding/becoming/growing your child’s inner voice. Just like all things In A Flash, we’ll keep it short and effective with an overview of 5 powerful tips, inspired by Caroline Harvey, Psy.d., in an article for Kurtz Psychology, followed by a FREE printable art card to put these insights into action.
1. Catch your child being good
Keep an eye out for positive behaviour and let your child know that you noticed. Even if it’s a small action, these bits of acknowledgement can really turn the tide in your child’s mindset as she plays. So, if she’s been a bit too rough with baby brother all morning, you can wait until she pets his hand gently and say ‘wow, your brother really loves playing with you, you’re so gentle with him!’. You’ll notice that, in addition to making her glow with pride, comments like this will adjust the way she perceives herself and she will be more inclined to reflect similar behaviour. You’ll also have the perfect foundation for providing more positive correction to steer her back in the right direction if she gets a bit too enthusiastic again: ‘you work so hard to be gentle with the baby, can you show me how big girls help little babies?’.
2. 5:1 5:1 ratio between praise and correction
For every time you correct your little one’s undesirable behaviour, be sure to sprinkle 5 bits of praise. If you need to intervene in an unsafe or unpleasant situation (and let’s face it, this is pretty much a constant state around little people!), try to balance the correction out after with 5 bits of praise or positive affirmation. No need to dig deep to come up with profound brilliance, a warm shoulder rub or a silly ‘Can I tell you a secret? I love you so much that I want to eat you up!’ is more than enough to tip the scales.
3. Be open about your own mistakes
We want our children to feel comfortable being imperfect in our eyes. The unattainable standard of perfection is one of the major struggles faced by adults. Thankfully, a significant social media shift is currently underway and we are becoming confident in revealing our real lives and imperfections. It’s okay to be honest to your little one about the mistakes you make, be sure to mirror the voice you want her to impose on herself, “oops, this sauce didn’t turn out quite right! I’ll try again next time, I love cooking so much”.
4. Make praise specific and constructive
I recently made a big shift in my approach to praising the kids. You may already have seen the fantastic tips on boosting your compliments that are racing around the internet at the moment. Basically, what you want to work on is turning all the ‘good job!’ praise into more specific comments like ‘oh, I really love all the colours you used!’ and ‘you look really proud of yourself after finishing all those sums’
5. Make sure your child hears a positive affirmation every day
You are loved, you are unique, you are perfect just the way you are. You can think of just about anything to fit your family and your unique little person. We also hope that you extend the same courtesy to yourself, because you truly are a wonderful, caring and important person!
A physical reminder of what we are working towards can be invaluable at times. This is why we designed a beautiful art card for you to print out, fill in and hang up for your little one.
Shower your little one each day with love using your unique positive affirmation and become her positive inner voice over the years.
FREE PRINTABLE AFFIRMATION ART CARD
Follow these 5 easy steps to create an inspiring and heart-warming affirmation card for your child (and for yourself!)
Step 1: click here to download and print the affirmation card
Step 2: dream of the qualities you’d like your child to hold close as she grows:
clever, strong, courageous, adventurous, curious
Step 3: turn this into a statement using your child in the present:
“Elli is a courageous girl, and she is always up for a new challenge”
“Jack is such an imaginative boy and he loves being kind to himself and others”
Step 4: write your affirmation along the lines in the zeppelin
Step 5: hang the card up and boost your child’s inner voice every day before breakfast or bedtime
Did you love this post? You’ll love our blog on your toddler’s 3 different play modes and how to use them to buy yourself free time or my Momfession if you want to find out how I reclaimed joy during playtime.