Blog a book along-n Chapter 2

blogabook.jpgWe are now in Chapter 2 of What Do You Really Want For Your Children? by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

I found this chapter particularly interesting. It’s called “I want my children to value themselves. ” This chapter spurred a few late night conversations with my husband about what the heck we are doing. It also made me stop half way through every sentence I spoke to reevaluate whether I was wording it right or not. It definitely has made a difference in how I talk to E, my 4 (almost 5) year old in a good way.
Krista sent out some good questions for us to think about. Here is one that I wanted to touch on.

What is one way you inadvertently lower self confidence and self worth in your children? I never realized how much we say “good boy” and “bad boy” until now. We’d say stuff like, “oh you’re such a good boy when you listen.” or “Why are you being a bad boy?” Instead, according to Dyer, we should be more specific and say, “I love that you picked up your shoes when I ask you to.” or “Why are you climbing up on the counters?” When I first started reading this chapter I think I may have rolled my eyes a couple of times, but after reading on, I realized that he makes a lot of great points and it was worth giving his techniques a try. Having to stop and think about what I was saying helped me to talk instead of yell (most of the time).

Dyer also wrote about treating each child as a unique indiviual. I try hard not to campare my two little ones too much. I mean, they both look a lot alike and they were both big babies and we like to look back at pictures and compare their weights and physical characteristics. I know they are completely different from each other. Growing up there were countless times where my grandmother would sing my praises to my sisters and say things like, “Regina doesn’t do that.” and so on. I know it created a little resentment towards me. I don’t ever want my little I-guy to ever feel less than his older brother or vice versa. They already have completely different personalities and I want them to be proud of their diferences but still be closley bonded as brothers. I have found myself saying things like, “See, he’s eating all of his food, why aren’t you?” or “Don’t treat him that way, he’s just a baby.” Instead I could say things like, “You have to be a little more carefull with I because he is still learning to walk, (he is still learning, or doesn’t understand yet…etc.) It is definitely a pitfall I don’t want to fall into.

After reading the basic principles for building self esteem and the strategies for raising a child’s self portrait, I realized that hey, it would be pretty great to have children with high self esteem. I often think about kids I went to school with who never got picked on, who were outgoing and friendly and seemed to have an easier time in school. These kids did well in school, they were confident and involved in lots of activites. I on the other hand was painfully shy, made fun of, insecure and overly sensitive (part of me still is). I don’t want this for my children. I want them to be able to handle the pressures of life happily knowing that they can do or be anything they want – even after small failures.

Throughout the week I have tried to use some of the strategies discussed in this book. I even noticed my husband trying to re-word what he says. For dinner, instead of getting on Super E to use his fork, he simply said, “Hey you know this dinner gets a little messy when you use your hands. How about trying your fork?” Without further disruption, he picked up his fork and finished his dinner. Yeah! I have also been trying harder to focus on the positives and compliment the good things instead of pointing out all the bad. I’ve noticed that he lights up when I compliment him and that he remembers the compliment more than a criticism.

One thing that we don’t lack in is love and affection. Our boys are constantly smothered with love, hugs, kisses and snuggles. They eat it up and so do we. I think because of our constant affection that Super E is so confident, friendly, generous and open, not yet able to judge or be intimidated by others. I love that about him and would like to keep him that way.

Here is an interesting article that I found. I’m not sure how it fits in with this exactly, but it was interesting none the less. It tackles the question of whether children are born talented or made talented. It’s called A Star is Made

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5 Responses to Blog a book along-n Chapter 2

  1. Michelle says:

    I don’t have children (though I just hit the age where I had always told myself that I was going to start having children by…though I’m not as ready as I thought I’d be when I made this plan!) Anyway, I thought what you said here was really interesting. Not to say too much, but my mom and I have been having a bit of a rough spot, actually quite a big one, and I often think it has a lot to do with things about respecting me as an individual or understanding my differences from her or my sister, issues that have been coming up since childhood. So you’re completely right to realize how important those things are, and I applaud you on them. Most people think that they’re making their children “better” by constantly telling them “right” from “wrong” but it’s not so clear cut at all. So thanks.

  2. Sarah Scott says:

    This is interesting. This is something I’ve always tried to do. I do not tell my children they are bad, I tell them not to do the particular thing instead. I also heard Maya Angelou say once the most important thing to a child is your reaction to them when they walk into the room. Do you look happy to see them? or do you unconsciously look at them like they are a chore, etc. I think so often it is the unspoken communication, that builds self esteem, not just verbal communication.

    The article was interesting also. I do not understand parents who push their children to be “stars” in something. I want my children to be happy and to do their best, to do something because they love it, not to feel they have to be a star. To me, they are stars already.

  3. andrea says:

    This was beautiful. You and your husband are AWESOME parents. No one is perfect but just the fact that you choose to recognize areas that you want to change and then do so, is priceless. Well done Mama!

  4. krista says:

    I was smiling reading this whole post! It’s nice that you and your husband talked about some of this stuff together. It’s funny that you mention that a part of you is insecure still. I am surprised to hear you say that. I wouldn’t have guessed that about you.

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