“Self-talk” is a powerful tool that can either build us up or pull us down. Unfortunately, many of us learn bad habits when it comes to self-talk in our early years.
In this article, we look at how parents have the power to turn the habit of negative self-talk around from an early age and encourage more positive, healthy self-talk that helps our children thrive.
If you are concerned about your child’s specific mental health habits and confidence, it is important to seek qualified support and advice. Addressing these concerns early can help manage and resolve the causes.
How We Develop Negative Self-Talk
Many young children have beautifully positive self-talk after hearing adults praise them on their learning abilities and unique qualities. They may run through the house, yelling, “I did it!” or “I look beautiful!” without a second thought.
After children start school, however, demands tend to be higher, and the achievements that won them compliments and praise may no longer be centre-stage. As children grow through age seven and beyond, it’s natural for parents to encourage reaching higher goals and staying on track.
Unfortunately but not unnaturally, some children may adopt negative self-talk when they compare their abilities to others. For example, children may relate bad days, mistakes, or other minor issues to themselves directly. They may say, “I had a bad day because I’m bad,” or “I didn’t do my homework because I am stupid.” These are the critical times to intervene and help your child reframe.
Three Self-Talk Secrets that Help Seven-Year-Olds Thrive
- Flip the Script
Teach your child to recognize their negative self-talk and “flip the script” when they notice themselves saying a “silly phrase.” Instead, have them say the opposite of their silly phrase over and over until a smile comes across their face. This funny ritual can help undo the damage of the negative self-talk and loosen the tension to invite an open conversation about what’s going on.
- Memorize Positive Self-Care Mantras
Mantras can be a powerful way for children to feel empowered in their self-talk. Help your child decide on one or two mantras that speak to them, based on what they struggle with most. For instance, if they are worried about performing well at school, a phrase like “I will always do my best” can help them feel more confident at the moment and help them perform better.
- Practice Positive Self-Talk Together
Nothing beats leading by example. It’s essential for you as a mum to encourage your child with positivity, but it’s also necessary to use positive self-talk with yourself. Use mistakes or problems as a learning opportunity to show your child how to navigate issues while staying positive. Make a fun daily habit out of sharing a few positive phrases about yourself, then giving your child a chance to share theirs.
Written by Kaitlan D.
As well as a writer with a passion for education, Kaitlan works in a wellness practice, working with mothers, mothers-to-be and hopeful mothers.
 Raising Children. About self-esteem: children 1-8 years. 2020
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.