Self-talk is a powerful concept. We may not realize, but we're often our own harshest critic and I see this a lot in children. I see this with the children in my day to day work and with my own children at home. It drives me mad really and I always catch my kid beating himself up with something simply like a whine and complaint because he isn't writing neatly. He'll literally hit himself with a light tap as if he's condemning his small mistake and silently berating himself.
Might not seem like a big deal, but NEGATIVE self-talk is truly a set back for any mindset. Kids grow up believing the negative words and judgements and as adults these beliefs hold them back. We can't be there for all those moments, but we can create the opposite from happening and make that part pretty fun!
A game we play in my field of work is called the "skittles bag game." You have the children in your life pick three skittles and code each color with a question. These questions should be positive. What kid doesn't want a chance to eat candy. Let them have their candy, but first make them say a couple of great things about themselves.
grab a green one, tell me what's the best thing about you?
grab a red one, tell me what you like best about yourself physically?
grab a yellow one, tell me how you made a difference today?
grab an orange one, tell me what you LOVE most about yourself?
and on and on... the possible questions are endless!
Having kids get in the habit of complimenting themselves is a great habit to create. This isn't meant as a way to build boastful character, but to create instances where children understand that how they speak about themselves matters! They must become their biggest fans and aim to be happy with themselves first and foremost. This also reinforces that what others believe doesn't matter more than their own beliefs. Their self-love and acceptance at an early age causes a profound impact stretching many, many years into adulthood.