The Power of Positive Self-Talk

Aug 1, 2021 | Articles, Parenting Tips, Teen mental health

This blog post is written by Megan Allen, the founder and owner/operator of The Community Classroom. Megan is a mama to one toddler, the stepmom to four teenagers, a runner, a nature lover, and an education nerd. 

​​My daughter, Cora, is timid when it comes to the big kid slide. You know the one—the tall, spiral twirly slide. Understandably, it’s about 5 times her height. But today was the day.

She heads up to the blue and green playground equipment.

Me: “Want any help?”

C: “No mama. Cora do it.”

As she tip-toes to the top of the spiral slide I hear her talking to herself. Repeating, over and over:

“It is okay. It is okay. It is okay. I got you. I got you. I got you.”

I saw toddler shoes peak around the corner of the slide.

And down the slide she went. Once. Twice. At least 15 times. With a giant smile on her face each time.

That’s the power of positive self-talk.

Why Positive Self-Talk is Important 

Cora demonstrated the power of positive self-talk. The little voice inside our heads (or in Cora’s case, outside) that talks us up and builds our confidence, keeps negative vibes at bay, and reminds us what we are capable of. 

Tips for Positive Self-Talk

First, experts from Healthline recommend that we talk about ourselves i third person when we do it. Cora was on to something when she was referring to herself as “Cora.” Research shows that talking to ourselves in third person during positive self-talk leads to increased positive results. For example, Brene Brown calls her negative self-talk her gremlins, removing herself from the situation. Talking in third person helps us think more objectively.

Next, we must practice self-talk. It’s not a skill that we just have. We aren’t born with the ability to do it! 

It’s not an innate skill—it’s one that we can develop. So how can we develop the skill in our children as parents and caregivers?

The Secret to Promoting Positive Self-Talk in our Children

It’s not as hard as you think! But it does require a peek in the mirror. It requires you!

Our children learn so much by watching us. What we do, how we react, and what we say (including how we talk to ourselves). If we model and think out loud about how to engage in positive self-talk, our kids will observe and apply. We just need to be really straightforward about why we are engaging in self-talk and how it makes us feel (and verbalize all of that within earshot of our children).

Want to read more tips on positive parenting (and teaching) kids? Try:

This article on Teen Mental Health in a pandemic

This article on how NOT to give your daughter math anxiety

This article on how to let go as parents

Want help coaching your pre-teen or teen to be a stronger learner by developing great habits such as positive self-talk? Check out this link.

Want more information on tutoring elementary-high school students to build confidence and help your child find joy in learning? Check out this link.

 

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