It’s my firm belief that what you say becomes what you are. If you walk around constantly complaining you will always have something to complain about because you stop seeing the positive things in life. The flip side is if you walk around with a smile you will find things to smile about (even if you need to fake it till you make it).
What we tend to forget is that what we tell our children will later become the things they believe to be true about themselves… When I watch a show like Idols (usually by accident), and the girl stand there full of confidence and opens her mouth to screech like a banshee (yes i do cringe every time) I feel sad for her because she DOES believe she can sing and the reason she believes this is because her mom and dad likely told her so.
Now we all believe our children are the best and the brightest and the … well everything! But the reality is my child is great at somethings, good at other things and should steer clear of a couple of things. My son cant sing he really cant, but he loves to sing and we sing falsely (because I cant sing either) to anything resembling music… but I have never told him he has a voice like an angel neither have I told him that together we likely sound like some half drowned cat climbing tooth and nail up a black board. I wont crush him that way but I also wont give him a false self image.
My son is however excellent at maths and I tell him so often and will think up ways for him to use his maths daily, my son reads way above his age level and we encourage him to do so as often as possible and praise him for it, and brag about it to anyone with ears when he is around so that he feels good about it. He also builds Lego models like no bodies business and we stare in wonder and amazement, taking the models and looking at them from every angle and ask him what this and that part does… he then goes and tries to outdo that one with the next.
As a mom its my responsibility to build him up to make him feel good about himself and the things he does. And yes to try and improve when there is room for improvement, he is a typical lefty and writes like a crab… so we practice every day and his writing has improved to the point where he’s teacher has actually complimented him. But no amount of voice training will have him singing Amazing Grace like the angels. So we don’t concentrate on that, we sing along to every thing and enjoy it… that’s all.
My point to all this ranting is the word “stupid”, I hate that word and will not use it! The word “Stupid” is more disgusting to me than the f-bomb. It WILL NOT be used in our home or in any form to describe something my child does or says. The reason for my aversion to the word is simple… say something enough times and a child will believe it! A simple term like “that was a stupid thing to do” will plant a seed in your child’s mind that I’m too stupid to do this… why bother. I would much rather say something like “don’t be silly you can do this you only need to practice” this way my child believes that even though he cant do something right now he will be able to if he puts effort into it.
I always tell Tris when he says he cant do something that at some point in his life he couldn’t walk talk or wipe his own bum. Now he can do all these things because he learnt how to do them and whatever he is struggling with right now he will be able to do as long as he keeps trying.
Our kids have enough to deal with while learning the ways of the world they really don’t need us to tell them that doing this or saying that is stupid. They look up to you and what you say is in their opinion (until they reach their teens) true because YOU said it..