Don’t Shrink the Kids
Susie Caron © 2/27/16
Did you know , you are actively engaged in growing or shrinking your kids? There are lots of ways that we grow or shrink people we know and love, as well as friends, coworkers and everyone we meet. We are mostly unaware of this, but we need to make it more conscious if we want to grow kids, and not shrink them.
There are several ways you can do this.
One way is by the messages you send through your eyes.
Kids are hugely changed by what they see in your eyes. The way you look at your child may be nurturing or harsh, accepting, or rejecting. However, it’s not the occasional ‘correction’ that shrinks them. It’s the way you look at them ‘the most often’, that shrinks or grows them. That's because, Kids form their idea of who they are, from what they read in your eyes.
If you think they are irritating, problems, rude, messy, etc. they believe that’s who they are.
If you think they are fun, gifts, great kids, love, accepted, and enjoyed, they believe that’s who they are.
Can you see how important your eye contact can be for your kid’s healthy development? However, what’s shows in your eyes, comes from what you’re thinking.
Maybe my story will help illustrate how your thoughts can grow or shrink your kids.
As a child, I received a lot of criticism for being oversensitive. I admit I operated out of my feelings, first through last. But back then, what I saw in my parent’s eyes, was negativity, disappointment, and judgment. They were trying to bring me up the best way they knew how, and meant well. (I forgive and love them.) However, because I believed what I had seen about me in their eyes, I grew up a broken, hurting soul.
As a young adult, I continued to doubt my thoughts, feelings and actions, so I frequently sought the opinions of others. It wasn’t until my 50’s that I learned how a person’s eyes communicate their thoughts.
That year, I enrolled in graduate school and a course for play therapy. The instructor was amazing and I will always remember her eyes. In class, when anyone shared, she rarely spoke a word, but her eyes and body language said these:
“Yes! Oh wow! Absolutely! Wonderful! Amen! Way to Go! How True! Phenomenal!”
(And other similar affirmations.)
She didn’t comment, criticize or judge our words or what we were doing in our internship placements. Instead it felt like she watered us - Encouraged us - Supported us! Can you imagine what that did? We felt accepted and believed in.
She knew how to ‘grow people’, using her eyes. But, I realized that the messages she sent through those eyes was a decision she’d made before coming to class. I know, now, that she accepted each of us fully, and believed in us, not because of our ‘successes’ but because she decided to do so, knowing that we needed it to be confident and grow.
Can you imagine the effect this would have on you? To have someone believe in you, accept you, fully and without holding back? How would that make you feel?
She certainly had a positive effect on me. I felt accepted just as I was, and began to believe in myself. I was so reenergized that at 52 years of age, I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Psychology. I rented an office and treated children and parents in private practice, until I fully retired, 12 years later.
How can you grow your kids?
You already use your eyes to correct your kids when you glare at them. You also smile right through your eyes when they do or say things that make you proud. You can continue to do those. However, I am suggesting that you decide today, to plan ahead to think more positive thoughts about your kids the rest of the time. Let me show you what I mean.
Instead of thinking these:
What do you want now?
Oh, dear, here we go again.
How come you’re always late?
Where have you been?
Why can’t you be more careful?
You could actively think these:
Hi! Welcome home!
Oh! There you are!
You are special to me!
I’m so glad you told me.
Here I am, and there you are!
What you are thinking shows in your eyes, and body language. So why not choose to think good thoughts about your kids (and spouse) as often as you can. Write down a few and practice saying them out loud to yourself. (You don’t actually need to say them out loud to your kids, although that’s okay too.) However, it is very powerful to think and believe positive thoughts when you are with your kids.
This is how you grow your kids.
When you think good thoughts about them, look at them with acceptance, and believe in them they learn to trust themselves, their feeling thoughts and actions. The longer you believe in them, the more they believe in themselves and grow in beautiful ways.
There’s a bonus too! Using your eyes more often in this way helps you connect with your kids and builds the parent-child relationship to last. Isn’t that something you want?
Twee’ means you and me
Thinking Good Thoughts to Grow your Kids.
PS The eyes are the windows of the soul. That’s why my character Twee’ has big, wide eyes. Kids and adults love her because her heart shows through them. Buy one or all three picture books on Amazon for your kids today. Just click HERE.
Susie E. Caron MA,
Author, Blogger, Podcaster,
Christian, Wife, & Mother, helps build parent-child relationships, 1 blog, book & podcast at a time.
Welcome! I recently retired from combined careers in teaching, psychotherapy, and parent coaching to spend more time writing.
When I'm not busy creating books or articles, you might find me looking for dark chocolate or riding my beautiful horse Apple in the woods and fields of Vermont.
These articles are for educational and self-help purposes only and are not intended as psychotherapy.
If you experience unusual symptoms or discomfort please see your medical or mental health practitioner.
No patent liability is assumed for use of the information contained. The author disclaims any responsibility for loss or risk for use or application of this material.
Buy All 3 Today.
Blog Reviews & Thank You!
July 13 at 7:17pm ·
Just wanted to say that I love your posts about the different ways to connect/relate/understand your child. It has given me a new approach towards understanding my daughter and allowing HER to tell me how she feels instead of me suggesting to her how she should feel. Thanks Susie!