When you were growing up you probably had someone around who taught you the colors of the rainbow, how to tie your shoes so they won’t slip off or sang the ABC song to help you remember the alphabet. Now that you either have your own kids or, like me, borrow your friend’s kids to enjoy and lovingly give them back, you try to teach them the basics, as well as values like sharing and being polite.
We teach children by explaining, showing and doing. We give concrete items a label. This is a CRAYON. That is a DOG. This CHAIR is BLUE.
We attach labels to everything; we even begin to attach labels to humans. You are FUNNY. She is MEAN. He is such a LOSER. Those type of statements start to show up early in life and we just keep sticking these labels to each other (and sometimes even ourselves). It becomes a problem when we believe that a label is true, even when we know it is not.
When we hear these labels consistently, we become conditioned to believe them. Then when we finally wise up, we start to doubt ourselves. Over and over the cycle goes: we hear a label, we believe in that label and then question and doubt if the label is true or not.
RIP THAT LABEL OFF.
Seriously. Stop putting humans, who are an intricate system of complexity, into boxes and using labels to describe someone based on one element of his or her life. Stop labeling yourself. You can do much more than you think, I promise, don’t limit yourself to a handful of words.
Instead, teach your kids, or the kid you borrowed from a friend, how to discover what is amazing about themselves. Teach your children critical thinking skills, creativity, and resilience to move past negative labels from others. When we learn to ignore the labels that others give us and define our own beliefs, we become who we really are, we live in a much more peaceful state and be able to show off our unique self.
Grow, Give, Love, Live,
How can you strengthen your bond with your tween during this part of their life? Download 4 actions you can take now to support your daughter.