how to series:
what to do if you are a judgy parent
I find myself being quite a 'judgy' parent at times, and I hate it.
I hate it because I was on the receiving end of a lot of judgement when I was growing up, so I know how it feels.
I also know (now) why us parents do it: we are drawn to our kid's shortcomings mainly because we are projecting our own.
Out of a misguided sense of love, we try and help our kids be successful by avoiding the mistakes which have hampered our own success.
The sad and ironic thing is, by constantly pointing out what's wrong you actually achieve the opposite effect than the one intended.
Judgement and criticism essentially tells your child that they aren't 'good enough', this then becomes the background narrative to a life spent avoiding more rejection and failure.
This is problematic because success often lies on the other side of exposure to rejection and failure.
So, if you find yourself a bit on the 'judgy' side too, what can you do about it?
a new thought framework
Well, it's very difficult to trying to STOP a repeated train of thought, the best way is to replace it with something else.
The easiest and nicest way we have found of doing this is by using character strengths.
Born out of the field of Positive Psychology (the scientific study of human flourishing), they provide a simple framework to replace your old thinking.
They are a lovely, positive lens through which you can see your child and more importantly, help them to see themselves.
how to use them
- 1The first thing we would suggest is that your child takes the VIA Character Strengths survey, it's free, you just need to register. We recommend taking it too, it's insightful, fun and will help you to become more familiar with strengths.
- 2Praise your kids using their strengths- we've got a whole article on how to do this here.
- 3Help your kids to become familiar with and develop their strengths with this free printable 21 day challenge.
- 4Help your kids to develop the 6 key strengths they need to have self-belief, resilience and confidence. Try the first 3 modules of our the BEST ME program for free.