Turning negative self-talk into positive messages.

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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #29: Let’s Be Kind To Ourselves. How often do you say mean things to yourself? Have you eroded your own confidence? Kids and adults can learn to turn negative self-talk into positive messages when they make mistakes, feel embarrassed, or get frustrated learning something new or challenging. Taking charge of one’s emotional safety increases one’s belief in their power and worth. For children, this helps to protect them from harm. How can you help kids to stop using negative self-talk?

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

We can use the Kidpower Trash Can to throw away mean things we say to ourselves.

Kids can learn to say positive things to themselves when they make mistakes, feel embarrassed about something, feel frustrated learning something new, and at other times when they might otherwise say mean things to themselves.

Explain, “It isn’t only the words that others say to us that can hurt our feelings or make us feel bad about ourselves, it is also the words we might say to ourselves. If the voice inside your head is saying something hurtful or mean, you can catch those words, throw them in the Trash Can, and say something nice to yourself.”

To practice, coach the young person to follow your directions. Say, “Pretend I am that voice in your head saying, ‘How could you make such a stupid mistake?’ Make your Kidpower Trash Can™ by putting your hand on your hip, catch those words, throw them away into your Trash Can, put your hand on your heart and say, ‘Mistakes are part of learning.’”

“If you are learning something new, and you are feeling like it is too hard or you will never get it right, catch the words, ‘Too hard’ or ‘I can’t,’ and throw them away, put your hand on your heart and say to yourself, ‘I just need to give myself more time to learn.’”

We can use our Heart Power to take in kind messages we give to ourselves.

“If you find yourself saying awful things over and over and you can’t stop on your own, get help from an adult you trust. You are safer when you feel good about yourself instead of bad about yourself.”

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 29, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 29, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.