Whenever we get a change of routine or a break away from, the normal hum-drum of life, it is very welcome indeed. We call it holidays! Those lazy, relaxed days when you can take as long as you like to do whatever it is you like to do. However, we are also aware, that all good things come to an end and so do the holidays. And then, it’s time to reorganise ourselves and get back to the routines and structures of normal daily living.
Children thrive on routine.
For young children, the routine of school life is a way to structure their day, their week, their month and eventually their entire year. They know where they stand, it makes them feel secure. Then, they learn what’s coming next and can be ready to deal with it. They can get their mind around the structure of the day as each little routine leads into another and so the day flows by.
Children also love repetition.
They want the same bedtime story over and over again. They repeatedly love to watch the same television programme or make the same jigsaw. They want ‘you’ to play the same game or say the same thing so many times that you get to the point where you are about to fall over from the boredom of the repetition. That’s their way of creating and consolidating their thought patterns and these in turn become the foundations for lifelong learning. To us it may be monotonous and boring but to them it is all very exciting and happens in the moment.
Another favourite of young children is praise and encouragement. Here they are very intuitive. Very young children can discern between real praise, which comes with a sense of heightened pride associated with it, as opposed to a type of lip service basic comment. Real praise is charged with emotion which the children can intuitively pick up on. Acknowledging and praising a child’s real effort or ability is usually accompanied with the adult’s sense of amazing achievement. It has a very different ring to it. “You are great”… allows the child to own and internalise the praise while “That’s great” doesn’t have the same impact internally on the child.
The old adage of “He/She can pick things up like a sponge” is never more true than when it comes to a child accepting recognition, praise, and self-worth. The more genuine and appropriate the praise is, to the child’s own ability, is key. That praise will have the effect of a good grounding on which that individual child can build lifelong skills. After all, isn’t that what we all want for our young children.
So what can we do to help our young and developing minds to build better foundations for life in the future?
Well to date, as adults, we can understand the need for routine for children. We know that they need their sleep times, their meal times and learning times. To the best of our abilities, based on our own foundations and learnings, we as adults, structure our days to facilitate their needs. But notice how we tire of their repeated questions and repetitiveness in playing and saying the same thing ad nauseam. It can even get us to the point of feeling and being irritated! We usually have so many agendas to deal with… from home, to work, to daily living… that their little routines are dismissed as trivial, compared to our important issues. That message can then becomes absorbed like ‘a sponge’ in the mind of the child.
What does this message send to the child?
We may not say… “Your little repetitive ramblings are not that important” You may sigh, and attempt to ‘not’ read that same bedtime story for the millionth time. You may try to skip a few pages to get through it faster!!! Many of us have tried that trick only to get caught out and then have to go back and read it again!! This example is just a small, yet subtle example, of how we try to avoid the boring, repetitive routine which the child is requesting to fulfil it’s developing needs. However, this ‘type’ of subtle, repeated, emotional response, translates to the child’s mind as being dismissed. The adult doesn’t mean to be dismissive….we know that. The adult is acting out it’s own learnt response to it’s parenting and teaching skills.
How does it feel to be dismissed by someone whom you thought cared for you? It does not foster the kind of feeling that builds self-esteem and confidence now does it? It sends a mixed up, muddled message to the brain of the child that allows self-doubt and anxiety to take root. Because children learn through repetition, our re-enacting the same confused message, will, over time, be like their bedtime story or the jigsaw. It will become a learning, which they will practise over and over again, to consolidate it and allow it become the foundation for their lifelong lessons!! We are in effect creating their self-fulfilling beliefs for the future ahead.
But hey… it’s not really your fault. You’ve already come through this same system and so has everyone before you! That’s the best that was available up to now. We are rearing and teaching our children based on the limited belief systems we learnt as children ourselves. When we struggle with anxiety or lack of confidence, we are very aware that we want our children to be happy and confident? We really know what they need, but we are limited to help them achieve it. Until we educate ourselves to have a newer, updated more confident and happier mindset, we will continue to live and teach from our old belief patterns. Whichever mindset or beliefs you choose, your children will still be like sponges who absorb and learn from your repetitive messages and actions. The better the mindset, the greater the chance the children have to gain a positive, relaxed and confident vision for their future.
But imagine if you could learn to create a change in yourself, so that you and ultimately your children could have more self-belief, more confidence and self-expression would you take it? Up to now, you are doing the best you can, based on your own learning foundations! Imagine reassessing and revamping those foundations! Would you take the time as a responsible, grown up, adult, and work on your own learned responses so that you in turn can better parent and teach your young children?
If this is something that you feel would benefit you and your work, when parenting and teaching your children, then Mind Coaching is the skill to add to your repertoire/toolkit. When you practice and learn this skill for yourself, something amazing happens. You will notice that your children will absorb like ‘a sponge’ the more positive and calmer responses from you, and these in turn result in the children having a more solid foundation for future learning too. You pave the way for a new future for your children. Isn’t that exciting!
How do I know this? I’ve practised the art of mindfulness and mind coaching from the time our first child was born, as I knew I had to be the best version of me, to help love, rear and educate my family. My years of teaching allowed me the privilege to pass my skills to many, many children over the years. Now I choose to assist others, to help them to parent and teach the children of the future to have a happier and more confident life ahead. I love it, as it is easy, enjoyable and effective in getting great results!
To find put more about how Mind Coaching can benefit you and ultimately benefit your child then call me for a Free Discovery Call.
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Helen Doyle Mind Coach
As a parent, teacher and Mind Coach, I love to help people release old mindsets which cause anxiety and lack of self belief. Then, for your benefit and that of your children, I can help you update your new belief system with confidence, happiness and relaxation.