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Do you often say to your child “you make mummy or daddy so proud?

Through my experience as a Kinesiologist practitioner and mind and body medicine teacher, I strongly urge parents to be vigilant on how they talk to kids. The impact of words has the potential to be catastrophic and set kids up for failure and grief.

Over 95% of my adult clients have unresolved issues linked back to childhood issues to do with negative self beliefs.

When a child is told ‘you make mummy or daddy so proud’, this can start an exhausting roller coaster ride of negative self-belief; the child thinking they need to prove themselves to mummy or daddy to make them feel proud.

Beliefs formed at an early age can stick around for a lifetime. A child can grow up adopting a destructive pattern of seeking approval from parents, friends, teachers and even total strangers.

As a parent, you need to be mindful in your choice of words when praising your child. Such seemingly positive phrases can easily be misinterpreted by a young mind.

Don’t get me wrong, off course there is nothing wrong with praising your child but it needs to be done in ways that increase your child’s bank of self-confidence rather than taking from it.

The phrase, ‘you make mummy proud’ is much better said as, ‘YOU should be so proud of yourself’.

The latter, teaches your child to look for fulfillment from within. Whist the former can set the belief that he or she has the daunting responsibility for making you proud. A very tall ask from anyone, let alone a small child.

A child who thinks they fall short of making his or her parent proud can start to feel like a failure which can then damage their:

  • Self esteem
  • Confidence
  • Ability to be resilient, and;
  • Their overall happiness.

I see many adults come through my clinic, damaged from childhood issues. The majority of issues can be traced back to comments that the child has internalized and has developed into a negative self-belief. Unable to work through their issues, they get stuck in a cycle of self-destruction and unhappiness.

Words carry enormous power.

Be vigilant in what you say so that your praising does not backfire. Rather, they become seeds of positive thoughts that gently nurtures your child to blossom in self-acceptance and self-love, the keys to success and happiness.