Friday, December 09, 2005



When I was about 10 years old, an aunt was visiting our family. She drove an old blue 53 Chevy pickup truck. As she was leaving, her truck would not crank. She tried and tried but it would not start.
It was during the day so my dad and brother were at work. My aunt was about to panic. She opened the hood and peered in but she might as well have been trying to read Chaucer in Sanscrit.
I hopped up on the bumper and surveyed the engine. I looked very closely for anything that appeared out of place. I saw a wire that looked as if it had come loose. I asked my aunt, could that be what's wrong? She said I don't know but I'll connect it back and try. When she tried again, the old Chevy fired up.
She got back out of the truck and hugged my neck and said you are a really smart boy. I'm not sure how smart I was at that time in my life, but I chose to believe her.
I think that those words had a significant impact on my self esteem and how I think about myself now. At work, I am a problem solver. That's what I get paid to do. Look at situations, evaluate root cause, and formulate solutions. But further, it's how I approach life. I feel like I can do anything I sent my mind to do. Obviously I do some things better than others, but I can do a lot of things.
I have said all that to say this: the mind of a child is like a sponge. They seek approval from people they love and trust. If you are helping a child with their homework and they are having problems with math be mindful of what you say. A statement as simple as "you are just not good in math" could have a profound impact on how that child views himself/herself.
I've heard parents say within earshot of a roudy child "I can't do a thing with him." That sends a message to the child that could cause very serious problems in the future.
I'm not a phychietris but I have seen first had what words can do. So I am very mindful of what I say not only to kids, but to anyone with which I interact because you never know if they will believe what you say and take it to heart.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Rick, I changed the name of the blog. Any better?

    Have a good weekend.


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