When your kids says “he told me that I am stupid and now I have the worst day ever…” What do I do?
I used to hear that and I would instantly want to help, make them feel better, teach them a lesson, etc etc etc! (All so I could feel better by not hearing them complain about it).
So I would say “why are you choosing to think that?” Which just annoyed them.
I would rush them to choose better thoughts for themselves “what else could you think about you?”
Which would of course just keep them stuck in their current thoughts even longer and we would get nowhere.
You see when I felt rushed to make them feel better I was only doing that so that I can feel better because I felt bad when they felt bad.
Which is essentially me believing the same thing they are believing: that something outside of us makes us feel bad.
Now when my kids share with me something that bothers them I don’t have that rushed feeling anymore.
I remember that my kids are supposed to suffer half of the time because that is part of life.
I listen to them and recognize that there is nothing going wrong here, they are just thinking a thought that makes them feel bad.
They don’t need to be rescued and they don’t need to feel better.
This feeling they are having is harmless and is part of human nature.
If I am coming form a peaceful place like that I don’t have an agenda of my own, I have no desire for them to understand the model or change their thoughts.
I simply get curious about what they are actually thinking.
And I ask them.
When they said that you are stupid, what did you think?
He might say ‘it made me feel bad’. Then I would say ‘why did it make you feel bad?’
Then he might say something like “I don’t want to be stupid”.
I would ask ‘do you think you are stupid?”
He would say ‘no’ or ‘yes’ .and I would keep asking him why he thinks what he thinks.
I also ask ‘is that true?’? Are there times when you are not stupid?
How does it feel when you think ‘I’m stupid’?
What do you want to think about you?
The whole time when I’m having this conversation I am simply being curious and compassionate about him and his thoughts.
No agenda of them changing.
Because we are all humans with thoughts.
Some of them serve us and some of them don’t.
By being curious about them we uncover them and look at them and sometimes thats all it takes to stop believing them.
So be curious with your own thoughts and your kids thoughts.
And when your kid feels bad don’t sound the alarm.
They are just having a thought.
Nothing has gone wrong.
Hope this was helpful!