It amazes me sometimes how parents talk to their kids. With all of the information out there about how powerful the brain is, how could a parent ever tell his/her kid that they’re a brat, or a delinquent, or stupid? I have a tough time with parents who complain about how terrible their kids are when the parents are the problem. I believe from the bottom of my heart that children of all ages will do what is expected of them. The problem we have right now is that we’ve lowered expectations so much, and our children, as always, are meeting those expectations. Disrespect of adults, talking back, poor performance in school, and defiance are all things that are prevalent today when 30-40 years ago they never would have been allowed to happen.
When a kid is misbehaving, don’t call them a brat, CORRECT THE BEHAVIOR!! Your negative words are just perpetuating the situation and guaranteeing that it will happen again. When a child is told over and over again that they’re a brat, especially when it comes from the person they look up to most in the world, they are going to live up (or down) to those expectations!! Kid’s need discipline not to be denigrated. They need to know exactly what their boundaries are and what is expected of them. Then when they do something right, praise them. Tell them how incredible they are. Let them know they can have anything they want to have, that they can be anything they want to be, that they can do anything they want to do.
When my kids were much younger, I used to put them to bed every night. As we were saying our goodnights, I would ask them three questions….:”What kind of day is tomorrow going to be?” They would answer with words like spectacular or terrific or awesome or incredible. Then I would ask them, “and who is going to make it that way?” They would excitedly say, “I AM.” Finally, I would ask them, “What are you going to think about as you fall asleep?” I would get answers like, I am a champion, I am a winner, I am incredible, I can do anything…” This went on every single night for many, many years. Now I ask you, is it any wonder that I have very happy, positive, successful children. They were planning their lives every night, and they were planning them in a very positive way. Isn’t that better than the kid who goes to bed every night with their parents telling them they’re brats or stupid or worthless?
Maybe I’m crazy, but I truly feel that the biggest problem with kids nowadays are their parents. Kids will truly do what they’re expected to do. What are you expecting from your kids, and more importantly, what are you saying to them? Raise your expectations, change your words, and you’ll be amazed at the results.