As I work with adults looking to help them change the direction of their lives, I sometimes wonder how can we as parents do better with our kids so they can learn to live fulfilling lives on their own as they age.
My clients come to me with one set of goals and often end up pursuing others. When we get to where their head really is and find out what is causing them to struggle in life, they usually have questions about their abilities.
A common thread I find when I work with people is each of us has a place somewhere in our lives that we hide because if we reveal it, people will know what is really behind all of our apprehension.
So today I challenge you as a parent to put the following phrase into your child’s daily mantra for success as you help them through the journey of life. The words that are so simple, yet so true are often not spoken to us at all or often enough and simply getting this phrase can help so much.
Each day, without ritualistic monotone tell your child, “YOU ARE ENOUGH!”
Yes, that’s it! It is that simple.
Why is this statement so important? Look all around us. Commercials tell us we are not thin enough, rich enough, pretty enough, fit enough, man enough, woman enough, straight enough, gay enough, conservative enough, liberal enough, cultured enough, tall enough, smart enough and more.
All of those negative messages come at us day after day after day. Even as parents we fall prey to the forces that help us fuel this negativity often unknowingly. Think of these examples:
- When kids get bad grades, the message whether intentional or not is often received as “you’re not good enough or not smart enough.”
- When your husband or wife gets let go from a job or does not have enough to pay the bills the message HEARD in our tone even when upbeat is “you’re not worthy enough.”
The not enough messages are so powerful that we often hear them even when they really aren’t being said at all.
Without a solid foundation of “YOU ARE ENOUGH” messages as our children grow, imagine the lives we build for people filled with feelings of inadequacy often hidden from the view of others in shame.
Those same people come to coaches like me and are stuck on something so simple that has nothing to do with the goals themselves and instead feeling like they aren’t enough to reach their goals.
These people were once children. They were the child who didn’t feel they were good enough or strong enough to play sports or get an A on that test or be friends with the kids at the new school.
We must realize the impact of our words said and not said to our children and work to make change. It does not mean you are a bad parent if you’ve never thought this way; but, instead like anything else, our ways can change and become better.
So today, this day … we can begin the to add the daily message to your children’s lives and even to yourself: “YOU ARE ENOUGH!”
The world is happy to tell you otherwise but being ahead of the game can cancel this message before it becomes a permanent part of our children’s psyche.