Celebrate Accomplishments To Build Confidence In Your KidsDec 30, 2021
As you get closer to the end of the year, have you started thinking about next year? What you want to change, what you want to start, what you want to stop, what you want to accomplish? The beginning of a new year is like a reset, where many people start thinking about the better version of themselves they want to become.
The problem is that most of us start from a place of what we don’t like, what we think is wrong with us, and what we want to “fix”. And when we start trying to change because we feel like something is wrong with us, we make it exponentially harder if not impossible to reach our goals and make lasting change.
It’s like continually telling a child everything that they’re doing wrong as they’re trying to learn something new. Judgment and shame completely shut down the learning centers in the brain — this is important to know both as a parent, and as you’re trying to make lasting change yourself.
So although you may really, really want to change, if you are beating yourself up thinking that will motivate you, you’re going about it all wrong.
Let me give you an example: Say you want to lose weight, and you have all of these negative thoughts about yourself and your body. When you are thinking negative thoughts about your body, you feel horrible, and when you feel horrible all you want to do is turn to food for comfort.
It’s the same thing around parenting. When we are trying to change because we think we aren’t being the best parent, or we are continually doing something that we regret — we feel guilty and ashamed. When we feel guilty and ashamed, we are typically short-tempered and we take it out on our family. We are not patient and kind, nor do we have any compassion for ourselves or anyone else.
I want you to know that this is completely normal — this is actually how our brains are wired. Our brains don’t like change, and they will retreat from new goals whenever possible. They do this by pointing out all the landmines, telling us why we shouldn’t or can’t change. Our brains would prefer to run our old programming. It’s more predictable which our brains see as “safe”.
So what is the alternative? Start by taking stock of your accomplishments. What DID you do well in 2021? What did you learn, accomplish, start or stop? If you’re struggling with that, celebrate that you made it through the year. It was a tough one, you made it. Find something to celebrate and be proud of, no matter how small.
Your brain will want to point out where you are failing so you will stop trying to make the change, so you have to consciously make an effort to focus on where you are succeeding. As you start to celebrate your accomplishments, your brain will start to shift to filter for what is working and you start talking to yourself differently.
As you focus and reflect on what you’re accomplishing — and your self-talk changes from beating yourself up to showing yourself where you’re succeeding — you will feel better. And when you feel better, you are more motivated to stay the course. Day by day it starts to get easier, and you make the changes that you want. This is how you build resilience, and how you finally make lasting change.
On the parenting front, we help our kids become more confident and resilient when we point out their accomplishments. Just like us, kids tend to focus more on where they’re falling short. They can’t see for themselves where they are succeeding.
I can’t stress enough the importance of this. It can forever change the trajectory of your child’s life, as it did for my younger child. Her older sibling had an easier time in school and naturally excelled in classes. Because of this, she had labeled her sibling as the “smart” one, and she would tend to make derogatory comments about her own intelligence.
As a parent, it was difficult to hear her talk about herself that way. My first instinct was to tell her that she was smart too, but I could tell that she just didn’t agree. In her mind, the grades were the measuring stick and she just wasn’t at the same level.
One day, I came at it from a different direction. I pointed out how she had other skills that her sibling didn’t have; She had very strong social, leadership and organizational skills for someone her age. I told her that the ability to get good grades is great when you’re in school, but her skills were going to serve her well beyond school. We talked about the different things that she had done to build these skills, and I let her know that I was confident that she was going to be very successful in both business and life given her skillset.
I truly believe that the conversation where we identified and celebrated my daughter’s accomplishments changed how she viewed herself. As her awareness grew and she focused more on her accomplishments, she continued to develop these skills. They became part of who she is and she has developed into a very resilient and confident young woman.
As I look at 2022 I’m focusing on growth. I want to celebrate accomplishments for both myself and my kids, and stay away from “fixing”. I invite you to do the same. Consider that you can desire to change because you want to grow and experience something new, not because you think you’re doing something wrong.
Focus on what you’ve accomplished, and give your mind proof that you are successful at what you do. The more you focus on where you’re succeeding, the easier it will be to stay the course and be motivated to make the lasting changes that you desire.
Now you may be asking why this is important for you too? I can tell you from experience that our kids are always learning from us. I didn’t realize how much until I started to see my own kids changing as I made lasting changes in my own life. When I stopped yelling and started handling conflict calmly, my daughter informed me that she was working on becoming less of a hothead in her own relationships. Trust me, they’re watching!
If you are looking to grow as a parent in 2022, I would love to support you! I help parents build stronger relationships with their kids by helping them keep their cool and communicate so their kids will listen.
I have a number of free resources available that you can access right away:
Grab my worksheet to get out of overwhelm so you can make time for what matters most at melpeirce.com/manageyourlists
If you struggle with yelling, download my guide to help parents gain control and lower the volume so they can become the calm and effective parent that they want to be at melpeirce.com/StopYelling
Remember, kids don’t come with a parenting manual. Stop expecting that you should simply know what to do to be a great parent, and know that support is only a phone call away. If you want or need more help and support, hop on a free call to learn more about my coaching programs and upcoming courses. You can get on my schedule here.
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