Posts Tagged ‘kids’

How Your Thinking Can Affect How You Live and Parent

How Your Thinking Can Affect How You Live and Parent


A wise man once said, “You become what you think the most about.”

I remember hearing a story about a small group of soldiers that really demonstrated the power of the mind and the power of positive thinking:

Image credit: philipus / 123RF Stock Photo

This small group of soldiers were in the jungle when their Jeep got stuck. They had no way to radio or signal for help and were unable to push it out of the mud. The senior man on the team told them that they were all very strong soldiers and that they COULD and WOULD be able to free the Jeep. With unparalleled strength the men worked together and lifted the jeep enough to free it from the muck.
They got back to the base and related their story to others. The others didn’t believe the soldiers. They said it was impossible, that the men were lying, and that they could never lift a Jeep. No small group of men would be able to do that.
The men were challenged to repeat their feat in order to prove what they had done earlier in the jungle. With the crowd of sceptics expecting the men to fail, they did. The men were unable to lift the Jeep.

This shows the great power of encouragement and discouragement.
Think about this story before you express your fear or support.
Are you setting up someone for success or failure?
Are you empowering them or disempowering them?
Are you projecting some of your own fears or issues onto someone else?
What is the true rationale – not just the surface rationale – behind your words and actions?

While it is important to address concerns, issues and negative possibilities, focusing on and dwelling on these often make them more negative, sometimes distracting one from seeing the whole picture. Most often, the big picture includes positive, negative and neutral aspects. Focusing on the negative breeds negative feelings, which then encourages negative results.

As a parent, it is normal to worry about your child/ren. It is normal to expect that they will experience headaches, heartache, and failure. While a parent may wish the child to avoid these, it is important for the parent to recognise that when only the negative is considered, the parent not only sets up the child for failure, the parent actually encourages and helps to facilitate the failure, while reinforcing the parent’s fear of the child’s possible failure, and expressing the belief that the child is incapable of success. This creates an even more negative reaction in the child as it breaks down the child’s confidence and self esteem. When the child is old enough to take responsibility for his/her own successes and failures, the adult child may realise that the negativity from the parent is avoidable by limiting contact with that parent.

Again, there is value in addressing and acknowledging negative possibilities; the harm is when the positive and neutral possibilities are ignored and the negative is the main or sole focus.

There comes an important time to recognise the value of letting go, including a parent letting the adult child become independent. The adult child still needs the parent, but in a different way. This is when both parties can greatly benefit from re-evaluating the relationship and the parent-child dynamic.