child upside down standing on head 2Whether it’s “I’m the stupidest kid in my whole math class” or “Okay, I can do this,”   we’re familiar with the collection of messages children play in their heads. Self-talk is everything a child believes to be true ….

  • …. about the way things work in the world
  • …. about themselves in relationship to the world
  • …. about a higher power, and that being’s impact on their lives

Self-talk statements usually go unchallenged

Self-talk messages are powerful because kids believe them to be true and consequently, act as if they are true. However, their interpretations can be wrong, causing them to accept as truth conclusions that are actually myths.

For years, I’ve been teaching this in support groups for children, using curriculum by Linda Sibley, who has given permission to share these solutions. I’ve seen firsthand how they work.

Over the next several weeks we will dig into our role in helping children challenge their developing self-talk so they learn to evaluate whether what they are saying to themselves is accurate. Conversation starters and games will give you moments to build on in the years to come.

But first, reflect on your own self-talk as you respond to your life experiences.

father and baby (2)You may want to increase self-awareness by answering some of following questions as they relate to your growing-up years:

  1. What were the verbal messages given to you? (take care of yourself; you’re clumsy; you can do no wrong; get lost)
  2. Was it okay to be good in some school subjects, but not in others?
  3. Were you teased by your peers for anything?
  4. Were you part of the in-crowd – or the out-crowd?
  5. What did you learn from media about money, violence and sex and the part they play in life?
  6. Did you measure yourself by rich, famous or beautiful people?
  7. Was your church or temple accepting and empowering? Judgmental and strict?
  8. Were you ever shamed, embarrassed or put down by clergy or a self-proclaimed religious person?

What wisdom did you gain from the above life lessons and personal experiences?  How did you learn to change your negative self-talk to positive?


  • Kids believe self-talk is true causing them to accept as truth conclusions that are actually myths. Click to Tweet
  • You can do something to quiet the negative, critical voice in a child’s inner speech. Click to Tweet