(Excerpt from SuperPower Parenting: Strategies for Motivating Today’s Youth by Jackie P Taylor)
In Success Ladder, the success pledge is recited corporately to unify the group and boost the spirits of every participating young person. Young people can take this exercise one step further by practicing these daily affirmations at home as often as possible. The success pledge drives home an important message: Believe in yourself! No one will do it for you. Yes, it is vital to have a support network in place to cultivate, encourage and care for today‘s youth (which is exactly why you as a parent or educator are reading this book). BUT! If today‘s youth do not believe in themselves, all of the help and support they receive will do absolutely nothing in the long run. Without self-confidence, young people will not have the personal empowerment necessary to see their goals realized.
By encouraging young people to affirm themselves daily, you are actually doing both them and yourself an immense favor! When you teach youth to believe in themselves, which is truly invaluable, you ensure that all of your work as a parent or educator does not come to naught. Instilling self-esteem and confidence gives children the tools they need to live up to their long-term goals. Don’t you see how it all goes hand-in-hand?
The foundation of daily affirmations is replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
This means that aside from the Success LadderTM success pledge, daily affirmations will be entirely unique and specific to each young person. In fact, after you have had a chance to talk with your child about his or her long-term goals (using the method set forth in the previous chapter), you probably will have a much better idea of exactly what makes him or her tick, and also what areas of your child‘s life could be improved with more support or a boost of self-confidence.
If you spend a bit of time in the presence of a child who is lacking in self-confidence, you will probably hear examples of negative speech. For instance:
I’m not smart enough to go to college.
I’m not talented or good enough to try out for a school play.
I’ll never be able to get my grades up in time; I’m just stupid.
I always mess up, so I don’t think I’ll make the football team when I try out.
These are just a few examples of negative talk. I‘m sure that you as a parent or teacher have heard hundreds and even thousands more disheartening examples from the mouth of your very own son, daughter or student! As a parent or educator, it is your responsibility to stop negative self-talk in its tracks. The first step toward accomplishing this is to convey that your child‘s fears about him or herself are unfounded, and that he or she is valuable, worthwhile and unique. Secondly, take it a step further by putting the power in the child‘s hands. Exhort your child to affirm them daily to keep their self-confidence flying high.