1) Starting NOW, do your own version of the experiment described above. Write down on a piece of paper: “My child is exceptionally bright. I believe this wholeheartedly.” Keep this piece of paper somewhere safe, and read it every day for the next few weeks. You will find that to the exact degree to which you truly believe what you have written it will become true.
2) If you think your child is old enough, sit him down and explain that you know l that destructive criticism destroys a person’s confidence (and this, incidentally, is true for all of us, although children are affected more fundamentally than adults).
When your child has understood what destructive criticism is, tell him that you are sorry for the times in the past when you have used it. Tell him that you would never knowingly do anything to harm him, and ask him to help you by letting you know if you do it again.
And if your child says, “Mommy, is that destructive criticism?” when you are scolding him, stop. Think about it, and if it was destructive criticism, apologize and carefully rephrase what you were saying in such a way that it builds your child’s personality instead of destroying it.
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