- The primary way anything is taught to children is through modeling. From the time they are infants, they are watching us and mimicking us. They learn as much from what we do as what we say. And if there is a discrepancy between the message in our words and the message in our actions, children may learn a different lesson from the one we are trying to teach them!
Therefore, the most effective way to teach children they have the power to take positive action — to work through the challenges before them (now and later in life), is to encourage this belief in ourselves, and to make choices — take action — that reflects this belief.
Don’t Fake It
On the other hand, if we fake and bluster — if we pretend to have such a belief in ourselves when in fact we do not — they will see through that also. And they may learn that people should be frauds, that our authentic selves are not enough. Or worse yet, that empowerment is impossible — that our words (our spoken messages) are only empty rhetoric.
Instead, we must simply do our earnest best, as honestly as we can. If children see us standing fast in the face of our own doubts, if they see us overcoming obstacles despite our own handicaps and weaknesses, then they will have the chance to conclude, “Perhaps I too can do it, despite my doubts, and despitemy weaknesses.”