Words are powerful. While much of the attention today is being placed on verbal abuse and cyberbullying, we cannot lose sight of the importance of affirmations. This is even more evident with children. During a child’s course of learning a new task, failure is inevitable. Rebuke in these situations can only bring shame and hurt. However, words of affirmation and encouragement not only ensure the child that failure is an acceptable part of the process, they encourage the child that the goal is achievable.
In the same way, allowing a child to try on their own until they achieve the goal can be even more empowering. In today’s hustle and bustle, it is very easy for adults to categorize tasks as checklist items to be ticked. We have all been caught rushing our kids out the door, and throwing on their jackets and shoes. Instead, let’s rewind and play this scenario out a little differently. Imagine we paused and let them put on the jacket and shoes themselves. On the surface, we might see these as simple tasks. However, there is so much more. When the child is given the opportunity to learn and perform a task on their own, in addition to learning the task, they are taught the lesson that they can learn and they can accomplish. This instills a level of confidence that words cannot. This confidence will not only help the child learn future tasks faster, it will one day help him to learn on his own. After all, the child is never going to say, “I got this” until he is given the opportunity to do this.