Posts Tagged ‘affirmation’

“Yes, you can.”

July 6, 2009

I love to give permission for my kids to do things they enjoy, particularly in the summertime. The season goes by so quickly in Minnesota, it’s tempting to pack as much activity in as possible. “Yes, you can,” is heard a lot at our home. I suppose you could call me an enabler.

upset boy against a wallBut I prefer being another kind of enabler—one that says “Yes, you can!” when they feel uncertain about their abilities. One of the greatest challenges they’ll face is their own self-diminishment. Taking thoughts captive and replacing untruth with truth is one of the hardest skills to master. As their dad, I want to help them recognize early the symptoms of stinkin’ thinkin’ (as Zig Ziglar calls it) and encourage them to say to themselves, “Yes. I can.”

These suggestions may help you become that kind of enabler as well:

  • Be a detective. It’s likely your kids are harboring self-defeat in some form. Like a detective, look for evidence of stinkin’ thinking. But tread lightly. You don’t want to push the culprit back into hiding.
  • Inquire about new experiences. Has your child picked up a new friend recently or started a new activity? The start of any new endeavor is often filled with self-doubt. Ask about their new experiences and listen carefully to their responses.
  • Explore abandoned experiences. Has your child recently abandoned a sport, hobby, or other social activity? Not every activity is meant to last forever, but sudden loss of interest may be a clue that your child has hit the internal wall of self-doubt.
  • Encourage replacement challenges. Find challenges that stretch and don’t break. If possible join them in it and encourage them along the way.
  • Pray for break-through moments. Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of detective work to discover self-defeating thinking in our kids. Saying, “you shouldn’t think that way” is usually not effective. That’s when it’s best to pray for a break-through moment. These are times when a shared experience becomes a teachable moment. A shared experience affords the opportunity to talk about the experience together and share how you worked through your own self-doubt.

What suggestions have you found helpful for enabling a “Yes, I can” belief in your children?

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Gotcha! The Rise and Fall of the Didja Monster.

May 4, 2009

ticklemeWhen my children were little, we used to play a game we called “Tickle Monster.”  I would chase them around the house until one of them agreed to be “caught.”  Gotcha! Bring on the tickling.  It was a game we all enjoyed.  In fact, as teens they still occasionally provoke the Tickle Monster.


I’ve noticed recently, however, that another monster has taken over. (more…)

Of Fortune Cookies and Cracker Jacks

March 3, 2009

I’ve decided that Chinese restaurants are for the kid at heart.  Where else can you go and get a surprise with every meal?  Fortune cookies are like Cracker Jacks.  You never take the toy seriously, but it sure is fun to find.  This week at the conclusion of a buffet of egg foo young, fried rice and fifteen different flavors of prepared chicken, an unusual event took place.  As my business colleagues all chuckled over their “fortunes” – they were funny – I excitedly broke open my cookie, only to find it vacant. There was no “A promotion is in your future” (good news for the self-employed) or “Sell rather than be poor.”  I got nothing, nada, zilch.  I wanted to return my entire buffet, like a defective box of Cracker Jacks.