Thursday, August 03, 2006

Building Self Esteem My Way

Sitting around last night, doing some family time stuff, my daughter Sarah took center stage showing us why she thought she'd be a contortionist someday. I am watching her twist and turn into some freaky positions and at the same time took notice of my oldest boy Josh grumbling beneath his breath. Nope! Ain't going to do that in my house. It exhibits self-pity and if he has something to say, our relationship needs to be strong enough to handle tough communication. So I called him on his outward display of an internal struggle.
"Josh, what's up? Is something wrong? Why are you grumbling?" I said, knowing he was uncomfortable with Sarah getting all the attention at the moment.

Josh responds, "I wanna be able to do that (twisting around) but I can't. What can I do so you'll pay attention to me?"
Besides the on-going teaching I work at on jealousy, envy, self-centered thinking and being happy for others, I am also challenged as a Dad to get my oldest boy to "go for it" when there is something he wants to do. I decided to go down the "you can do anything" route for the time being in order to keep it light.

"Josh son, please remember those times where you've done something that you never thought you'd be able to do. Think about what you were telling yourself before you tried to accomplish is the same thing you are telling yourself now."

Fearing that I was moving into lecture territory I exhorted him with
"Remember what I've said, finish this sentence, you can do anything you want to if you....?"

Josh thinks for two seconds and says
"If your stupid enough to try it."

Now I really wanted to lecture but instead I encouraged him further with a big smile and said
"YES! Exactly, what I've been teaching! Right on! Way to go, you nailed that one."
Josh new he set me up but he was shocked at my answer. The look on his face was priceless! He grinned big time and I could tell he knew I got him in his own game. The more I parent the more I learn that you always need to keep'em on their toes and be ready for anything, they enjoy it. My response had nothing to do with self-esteem but it just made my boy laugh...things went further than a lecture ever would.

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