Our awesome therapist Amber Garcia shares some easy techniques to help you manage anxiety. These tips are great for all ages. Hope you find it helpful!
I recently came across this article about motivating children who lack motivation. One of the points the author describes made me pause. She asks the parent what motivates their child? What does he really want? What questions can I ask that will help him discover and explore his interests? What are his goals and ambitions?
Encouraging children requires you as a parent to step far enough away to see your child as a separate person. With all our good intentions, it is easy to become wrapped up in the stress of every day life and forget our children are not mini-me's, but are separate people with different preferences, different ways of thinking, feeling, and doing things.
For a child to feel motivated they must first feel seen. They must feel that their voice matters. That their parent takes the time to really listen-- not to what you want the answers to be, but to what your child is really saying. And if the answers happen to not line up with who you are, respect them, even if you disagree.
I read this "66 Positive Things To Say To Your Child" post today, and wrote down the ones I regularly say to my children, and the things I'm going to try. to say more often. It was a good reminder to see my children as their own separate selves that I must continue to learn and understand as they grow.
Encouraging things I say often:
#2: You make me proud.
#6: You don't have to be perfect to be great.
#17: You were right. (Especially if I had previously told them they were not!)
#37: I trust you.
#38: That was a really good choice.
#63: I love you.
Here's what I'm going to try to say more of:
#19: We can try it your way.
#34: I admire you.
#44: Thank you for being you.
#60: I'm listening.
#65: You are enough.
What are some things you say now vs. what you'd like to say more of to encourage your child and help them be the beautiful little people that they are?
If your body parts could talk, what would they say?
I've used this worksheet with my own children, with students I've taught, and with clients, both children and adults. Teaching kids to "tune in" to their bodies is an essential skill and doesn't always come naturally.
There are so many benefits to learning this skill! One is emotional regulation-- kids who can listen to their body have an easier time managing and coping with their feelings, especially the really big ones, like anger, disappointment, fear, frustration, guilt, sadness.. .
They feel more capable, confident, have a more secure sense of self.
They have less behavioral problems, better social skills with peers, more empathy and supportive relationships...
It's not just a skill for kids., Adults benefit in similar ways, too, with overall mental stability, positive sense of self, solid relationships, increased career satisfaction.
Take a moment today to tune inward,. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and slowly release for 8. Then scan your body and really listen to what each body part is telling you. Maybe some are silent, while others are screaming!
That's ok, no judgement.
All you have to do is listen.
Click to download the PDF to use at home.
Chantal D. Hayes