Mindful Parenting with Mel - A Father's Gift of Belief

By Mel Peirce - Certified Life and Parenting Coach June 13, 2023

If I asked you what you want your kids to believe about themselves, what would you tell me? As I work with parents and ask this question, I get different responses but most are relatively similar to my thoughts and what I want my own kids to believe. 

So I’m going to imagine that like me, you want your kids to believe that they are strong, capable, kind, and overall awesome.  You want them to believe that they can achieve anything they set their minds to, feeling worthy and deserving of an amazing life.

A parent’s belief in their child is so powerful.  Our kids look to us to figure out what to think and believe about themselves, and when we see them as strong and capable they start to believe that they are strong and capable too.

This really hit home for me when I was going through a particularly challenging time as an adult.  I was having a great deal of anxiety about the challenge and unknown future outcome.  My dad asked me about it and I gave him an update, but followed up by telling him that I didn’t want him to worry.  He responded by telling me that he worried about me the least!  

I was shocked, because for me it seemed there was a great deal to worry about with this situation, so I asked him why.  He said “You are strong and you always work through any challenges and come out on top”.

Just hearing him say that helped me affirm to myself that I AM strong and capable of working through challenges.  I felt my body relax, and I felt more empowered.  I realized at that moment how children, no matter what their age, can borrow their parents' beliefs about them.  Because my dad believed I was strong and capable, it was easier for me to believe that I was strong and capable too.

Looking back over the years, I can see evidence of my dad’s belief in me and how he taught me to believe in myself.  He was always there to support me, but he wasn’t a “fixer” stepping in to do things for me.  When I was faced with — or got myself into a challenging situation, dad would ask me how I thought I should best handle it.  He taught me how to problem solve and work through tough situations.

Parent’s beliefs have to be followed up by their actions for their kids to really believe it.  If dad had been a “fixer”, always stepping in to take over when I was faced with a challenge, I wouldn’t have believed that he thought I was capable.  If he was always worried and concerned about things going wrong for me, I wouldn’t have believed that he thought I was strong and able to handle the challenges to come up with a positive outcome.

It can be really difficult as a parent to watch your child go through trials and tribulations, and so easy to step in to help them through it.  But I invite you to consider what message you are sending when you do.  If we want our kids to believe that they are strong and capable of navigating through challenges, we have to believe it first.

Sometimes it’s just one person believing that can literally change the direction of a child’s life.

This Father’s Day, I’m grateful to my own dad, as well as all of the dads and father figures out there who share the gift of belief with children of all ages.

Happy Father’s Day!

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