Dad Matters was started to encourage every dad, step-dad and father figure on his journey, no matter his age or stage or life situation. We, the bloggers on Dad Matters, are dads like you ... committed to doing things well, but struggling at times with what that looks like. Maybe we can help you one day, and maybe God will use you in this online community to help another dad on another day.
Follow us on Twitter: @DadMattersBlog
Follow us on Facebook
On a short list of my life’s credos, you’d find:
Once, my daughter declared in a moment of frustration that she was “dumb” when it came to math.
“You shouldn’t call someone I care about a name like that,” I said.
When my daughter looked at me quizzically, I said, “Not only is what you said not true (it’s not; she’s good at math), you should never say what you just said about yourself.”
Just today, she and I were reading a story where the main character was being similarly hard on herself. The girl’s Sunday school teacher responded back with the following wise words: “You have to be careful what labels you put on yourself, because you'll start to believe them. And basically we act out what we believe.”
That is so right on. As dads, we need to watch out for how our kids see themselves, and unpack and correct lies we hear them proclaiming that somehow they aren’t good enough, smart enough or ________ enough. (I think I just channeled the Mike Myers’ character Stuart Smalley from the classic SNL skit, but you get my point.)
It should be as unacceptable for your son or daughter to tear down themselves as it would be to watch someone else do it. Helping encourage your child not to have a negative attitude about himself isn’t falling prey to the self-esteem movement. It’s actually avoiding a sin, since when you tear yourself down you are devaluing a child of God … in this case, yourself.
Over time, your child’s words about herself, both negative and positive, can reveal and shape what she believes in her heart. As Luke 6:45 tells us, “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
As dads, we should remind our kids that the attitudes they have about themselves determine a lot about who they will be.
Rich Bennett (@coloradorich) is a contributor for Dad Matters and the Vice President of Ministry & Marketing Strategy for Focus on the Family.
Follow us on Twitter @DadMattersBlog
You must be logged in to comment.
Sign In or
--Thanks for the reminder Rich. Just the other day we had a conversation with our daughter about this when she said, "I am so stupid." What a great opportunity to affirm their value and to talk through how to work through challenges and frustrations.