Strong Families, Happy Kids: Parenting Tips from Prevent Child Abuse Arizona
It’s amazing how powerful a simple affirmation can be. Think about a time when a verbal nudge from a friend, family member, or colleague has encouraged you to take a leap into something new.
What we are told about ourselves matters.
To start something new can make us feel vulnerable. There is much learning to be done, many mistakes to be made, and ample space for failure.
We’ve all been there. We’ve started projects or tried new activities. We’ve started new jobs. Some of us have become parents and caregivers, which requires the constant navigation of new, boggling challenges. We’ve all been children, which is the ultimate starting of something new, as we discovered our places in this complicated world.
It’s especially important what we tell children about themselves. For better or for worse, children become who we say they are, and who we say they can be. Sometimes, who we are told we are can take years to unlearn, if that identity isn’t who we want to be.
And it’s also especially important what we tell people when they become new parents. Becoming a parent is an enormously vulnerable act that opens us up to the judgment of the world, and our own judgment of ourselves. It’s hard to feel like you’re doing a good job when you’re not sure what that looks like or feels life, the challenges keep on coming, the world is full of contradicting advice, and you’re always told you should be doing more, and better. What we are told about ourselves in new roles can lay the foundation for who we become in them.
Affirming people’s strengths doesn’t just matter when they’re trying something new. What we say to people about themselves at any point matters.
If you notice and appreciate a quality in a colleague, a client, a friend, a child, or a family member, tell them. They may already know that they have that strength, but to know it is seen and valued can reinforce purpose and refresh motivation. It may not make much of a difference, but it might also make all the difference. You never know. Pointing out a strength you see could nudge a person into becoming the greatness of who they are.
Editor’s Note: look for the Strong Families, Happy Kids column in every issue of Prescott Woman Magazine. It’s designed to support parents with actionable tips and strategies they can use to create optimal environments for their children to thrive. To learn more about Prevent Child Abuse Arizona’s mission and resources visit www.pcaaz.org