What people say to us can have a direct impact on our self esteem. Think of your child in the playground and someone calls them a name (its not nice but unfortunately it happens). What will happen? Will they accept what was said to them as truth or will they ignore the word that were said?

We have all had this experience and will continue to have experiences of people’s ideas or judgement affecting the way we think of ourselves. What I teach is that we can’t stop people from saying things to us, they are allowed to have their opinion. We need to understand how words effect us and whether we will allow them to. 

Easier said than done, right?

Some words make us feel nice inside, it could give us a warm feeling and we are happy to hear and accept them as something that we are.

Other words could make us feel sad inside, our shoulders slump and our face droops. It doesn’t feel nice at all. This is where we can choose to accept the words of others as truth or not accept them at all.

Teaching our kids to choose what words they will keep and what words they will not can be a lot of fun, all you need is a piece of paper, coloured pens or textas and some scissors.

Draw a square on a piece of paper – this is your keep box

Read out the words listed below – any word they would like to keep should be written inside the box in a happy colour. Any word they don’t like or want to keep needs to be written outside of the box in a sad colour. Feel free to add additional words.
·       Friendly
·       Silly
·       Smart
·       Kind
·       Lazy
·       Rude
·       Annoying
·       Pretty
·       Funny
·       Boring
·       Weird
·       Mean
·       Fat
·       Smelly
·       Helpful 
·       Shy 

When they have the paper full of words they need to cut out the box

The words inside the box they should keep – its nice and colourful and has words that make them feel happy about themselves. Put it somewhere they can see if often like on their bedroom door or wall

The words outside of the box should be thrown away or disposed of in some way. They are not to keep as they are untrue. They may want to cross them out with black texta, rip them up or put them  in the fire. The more dramatic the better. We are teaching them not to accept words that make us feel unhappy

They can do this in their imagination too especially if they are having difficulties with friends in the playground. If someone calls them something, they can stop and think whether it is a word they want to keep in their special box or if it’s a word that stays outside of the box and we throw it away. It’s a lot of fun

I also want to remind you how important it is as an adult to also do this yourself (maybe not the paper version but definitely the mind version). You may hear negative things about yourself or even say them to yourself. You can choose what you accept and what you don’t. Does the word go in your box or are you going to throw it away? Your self esteem and self worth will improve as you choose to not accept other peoples negativity.

This is one of the many things we teach in our classes. To find out more visit https://mindshiftproject.com.au/programs/