An eight-year-old says, “Mistakes help me improve. I know I can do this.”
Can an eight-year-old really experience that much self-confidence? Yes, it’s a true story but it’s a rare exception. Good news: That rare exception becomes the rule with a new revolutionary parent program called Love Infusing Fear – Therapy (LIFT).
Why is self-confidence so elusive? LIFT exposes this never-before revealed root secret.
Fear of failure found within every daily conflict
The main reason: Parents naturally focusing on behaviors when conflict occurs. “Why can’t you be more responsible?” (chores, grades, etc.) That’s about as effective as scraping weeds off at the ground’s surface. Only attending to what can be seen is natural. A child feels like a failure, misunderstood, hurt, and separated from a parent — the perfect breeding ground for fear. Felt love is nowhere to be found.
Here is an example of a typical child’s inside responses: “What’s wrong with me?” or “I’m bad.” Think that’s not true? You’re hearing the sad, angry, fearful voice of every one of the four thousand-plus client children I’ve counselled. And the heat of this inside fear (fight or flight) is searing to a child’s heart.
Yes folks, unattended instinctual fear is THE PRIMARY successful self-confidence inhibitor. But there’s good news — taking it away during the beginning of a conflict automatically primes self-confidence to flourish. Love flows. Roosevelt was really onto something: “The only thing to fear is fear itself.”
All parents get caught up focusing on the weeds (seen behavior) instead of the root system (deep down unseen emotions – especially pure love - that cause behavior). Here is the secret to the healthy root system focus: Make sure a child feels “I have worth,” “I’m lovable” at the beginning of a conflict.
LIFT makes it as easy as falling off a log backwards. You validate emotions first, before changing behavior. It is backward from what all good parents do. Yes, it is as rare as a flying pig! But the proof’s in the pudding. When you practice this LIFT backward approach, you always land in the same boat as your child, with your child feeling compassionate emotional support. Parents get the hang of it within two weeks.
Here is how it sounds: “Ricky, tell me your emotions about these horrible chores.” (Humor is a great fear extinguisher.)
Now you have started oneness (pure love experience), compassionate communication, the down deep heart-on-heart feeling of being together and not alone and misunderstood.
Muzzle up, take your ear plugs out, and believe your child’s emotions — their psychological breath. After your child responds to your questions, repeat and validate the emotions. The four basic emotions are: anger, sadness, fear and pure love (your child’s validation experience).
Ricky whines his emotions, “It’s not fair that I have to do more than Ema.” His mostly deep inside translation: “You love Ema more than me.” I know, this is not logical. But that’s the deep-down common emotional experience, far more real than what you see on the outside.
Using the LIFT approach, you say calmly and assuredly – no frowning, “Yes, I can see you are angry about this. What do you think would be more fair?”
Your child’s typical thoughts when you start this approach are something like this: “What? I’m not in trouble! What am I supposed to say? I know it will be wrong.” The validated emotion focus has shifted the landscape from rocky “what’s wrong with me,” to smooth “what’s right about me.” (LIFT provides easy-to-learn tools to fix the behavior after this emotional validation piece is in place.)
LIFT turns fear infested conflict on its head. Infusing pure love (emotional validation) replaces self-doubt and pulling apart with togetherness and self-confidence. The changed root system is healthy self-love, “I’m lovable,” your child’s intended identity.
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