Growth, Confidence, and Self-esteem Come from the Inside Out

To change behavior of a young person, treat the youngster as if the person were already what you want the person to become.

For example, if your daughter is shy, rather than sending messages of her difficulties with her own social needs, respond to her as if she were verbal, popular, and socially confident. Some children need the confidence of others in themselves before their own confidence grows. If you communicate that the person has the power to encounter the situation—instead of trying to solve it for the youngster—the person will learn effective ways to do so with her or his own resources.

Parents cannot fix problems they don’t own. The problem invariably resides with the person’s self-talk to the situation. Talking to the child in empowering ways can do much to help the youngster change his or her own self-talk. The more you send messages that the persons is competent in the area under question, the greater the chance of the youngster’s changing her or his own self-talk.

One key to this success is to resist evaluating the young person as the person is and have a mental picture of how you would like the person to be. A positive vision will always bring more success than a negative one.