“Stop being such a mess!”
“You never do what you’re told!”
“You’re always so lazy!”
I think most of us recognize these outbursts when we, as parents, feel powerless in a stressful situation. We don’t really mean what we’re saying, and most probably don’t really know the effect the statements can have over time. But repeating words such as “never” and “always” in a negative context, can create a limited belief system for your child, that could stay in their subconscious part of the mind throughout their adult lives.
Thankfully, we have solutions to not only prevent this from happening but also repair the damage that has been done.
The child and the subconscious
Research shows that as we turn 6 years old, 90% of our subconscious has already been formed. Initially, this means that 90% of what the child has observed and felt up until this age has been filed into the blank hard disk. Because a child aged 0-6 has not yet developed a proper system to rationally reject some of these files, the chances are, that both the positive and negative beliefs will stay there. UNLESS the subconscious is exposed to a system that can alter the negative files.
Most of us are aware that we can’t avoid resembling our parents somewhat by copying good/bad behavior and mannerisms that we’ve witnessed as children and in our youth.
But sometimes, imitating those mannerisms result in unhealthy belief systems, that we or our child would rather be without. Example: Say a child repeatedly witnesses arguments between his/her parents – this behavior can be copied and stored in a child’s subconscious and when provoked or faced with a similar situation, it can surface with angry behaviour. The worst-case scenario is of course the kids who have been exposed to alcoholism, violence or other traumatic behavior from their parents, and who – contradictory to what they wish for – end up repeating this behavior as adults.
Overwriting negative beliefs
Now, thankfully it rarely gets to this stage, and let me say, that whatever guilt I’ve just inserted in your mind, let it go. We’re all human and perfect parents do not exist. Also, the good news is, that it’s never too late to alter negative belief systems in our subconscious minds. We can transform the negative beliefs, by thinking about how we articulate our daily messages to our children, but also through the use of an amazing tool called “neuro training”. Both are ways to help our children achieve a sustainable mindset, inside and out – and help our kids train their self-esteem to be built on positive belief systems.
Understanding your child’s belief system
The key to implementing or changing your child’s belief system is to observe and understand what the beliefs are, to begin with (1):
– knowing how they affect the well-being of your child
– observing how they come out in your children’s statement
– observing how you act in those situations, so you can change your habit
Now you know, you can change how you handle your children’s outbursts going ahead. You can do this in two ways – by repeating the child’s statement or changing the frame. By repeating it, you make it obvious to your child what they are saying and will make them more conscious of their habitual way of speaking. When repeating it, it’s important to do so with a wondering or questioning tone of voice.
Reframing is another effective way of changing their statements – with this method they get the opportunity to see the issue in question from a different angle. Say, they say: “I’m always so slow” – you reply by saying: “when you are not slow” or “when are you fast”? By reframing, you question the validity of their original statement and make a positive suggestion instead.
Neuro training – key to a quick transformation
While using repeating and reframing in your daily conversations with your child, you can further help the alteration of your child’s belief system by using neuro training. Neuro training takes place in the “alpha-theta” frequency in your brain – the frequency you’ll find yourself in just before you go to sleep or meditate.
For kids, neuro training generally works very well at night before sleep time. Talking your child into the alpha-theta stage is done by giving them a physical relaxation/body scan with your choice of words and in doing so, making sure the mind is also calm. In contrast to most adults, children can achieve the alpha-theta stage fairly quickly and you can hence start the suggestion work in what we call the ‘neuro training room’ – or with kids, I like to call it the “the brains’ playground”.
When in the ‘playground’, you can make up a story in a location to their liking, and consequently talk them through various scenarios. Say your child is suffering from low self-esteem, scenarios could be that your child is met with smiley kids, or go on stage and talk about a passion, and everyone claps – or get a hug from someone they normally fear. The possibilities are endless and both ‘live’ versions and ‘recorded’ versions tend to be a success, with the added bonus, that most kids fall asleep.
Parent or trainer?
Most kids like to hear their parent’s voice as it gives comfort, but will also benefit in the long run, as the recognition of the calm and positive voice and affirmations will recall recognition in the present state of consciousness. However, for some parents, using neuro training takes some more know-how and practice (watch this space for webinars and courses) and as a start, downloading pre-scripted PDFs or pre-recorded files from a neuro trainer can work wonders. I supply neuro training files here, as well as scripted PDFs that will be up soon.
3 steps for you to go away with: Repeat, reframe & neuro-train – this is a good start if you want to boost your child’s self-esteem.
(1) Jørgen Svenstrup & Gitte Svanholm: Tro på dit barn