Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lies Children Believe-Be proactive

Taking some time to explain one of my Facebook (FB) post. I updated my status with this:

A question I ask myself before I respond to my child's issue, "what lies are they believing about themselves?" Then I pro-act vs. re-act.

I am glad my friend Jennifer Markey asked me to clarify. The best way to clarify is with an example. One of my sons looked completely defeated and upset. I noticed he just got his math quiz and test scores back. My wife and I were previously concerned about his lack of effort with math and told him that he needed to do better. The issue that came up was that he received a low score on his test and quiz.

A reactive approach would of consisted of the following:
1)Taking the test and putting it between us
2)Expressing my disgust for the low score
3)In many ways expressing how he has to do better.

A proactive approach consist of the following:
1) Not reacting to the issue (low test score)
2) Recognizing that the low test score is only a symptom
3) Setting the test aside and asking myself "what lies is he believing about himself?"
4) Take a proactive approach at attacking the lies by building him up with the truth
5) Identify with his struggle
6) Present some solutions to help with math.

If I would not have paused and took a proactive approach, I would have ended up reinforcing the negative thoughts that my son was believing about himself. Setting the issue aside helps me to first focus on the heart. I asked my son how he felt. He said, "Upset". I dug deeper to ask him what does the test score make him feel about himself. He told me that he would never be good at math and probably won't be able to go to college because it will be too hard and he's not smart enough. BINGO! I found the lies.

I proceeded to debunk the lies one by one. Then I shared with him some of my struggles with math and how God carried me through them. I gave him one of my old engineering cards and asked him to set it by his math book as a reminder of this fact: if God was faithful to help me take math up to Calculus III and then become an engineer, he is no respector of persons and will surely help him. By the time we were done talking his confidence had returned and his entire countenance changed. After that, dealing with the actual problems he missed and showing him how he can bring his grades up were easy. I talked with him before he went to bed and he was still full of courage and ready for the next math challenge. Praise God for His wisdom!

So what are some other lies children believe about themselves? What has been your experience with this subject of being reactive vs. proactive?

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