Every day in my practice, I watch children hear themselves being referred to as ‘lazy’, ‘naughty’, ‘nightmares’, ‘pig-headed’ even ‘stupid’ seemingly without thinking. What strikes me is that the parents I notice doing this are not cruel people or ‘bad’ parents. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they are tired, frustrated people who love their kids beyond measure –they simply don’t realise the damage those words are causing. I also notice that these children don’t bat an eye-lid! Clearly hearing themselves described that way isn't new and they don’t disagree.
As adults we have something called ‘self-talk’ or an ‘inner voice’ that commentates our life and directs us to feel certain things and to take or avoid certain actions. One of the things that determines the quality of our inner voice later in life, whether it’s helpful to us or holds us back, is how we were spoken to and about as little people.
Let me start by saying a big thank you to all of you who've contacted me since the launch of my website last week. I've been moved, really moved, by your stories and I realise how hard it can be to share secrets and vulnerabilities like you have.