Our weekend was very relaxed. We decided to just take it easy and hang out - no parties and no excursions. It was nice and it gave Lynley and I some time to focus on kiddo improvement rather than just going through the motions. As fast as life moves, we often are struggling to just get through most days. Life seems to just happen so it is nice when we feel like we can grasp some control.
Our focus this weekend was on the Grahamers who, for seeming so much like his Dad, is misfiring when it comes to his confidence engine. I know - hugely surprising. With such an overly confident father who would have thought. (I guess maybe that is part of the problem.) Regardless, we noticed it first in his language. He has definitely developed a pattern of negative language. We hear him say things like "I am just not good enough", "I never win", and "I can't do it." On occasion, I think we all feel this way at some time or another but Graham has really developed a longer term habit of this language lately.
It is time to break the cycle.
Lynley began reading books. You know she is the smart one, right? (Yep, I got the looks.) It did not take long to see that we definitely had an issue and we were happy to find some exercises and a path out of the negative patterns. We also found that there were some behaviors of our own that we needed to change. Yes, even my excellent behavior was suspect. After viewing myself through another set of eyes and trying to listen to myself through another set of ears, it became quite clear that my sarcasm and sense of humor could have a negative impact. While appropriate for adults and clearly a magnet for the chicks (Lynley) it became clear that it may not be appropriate for fragile egos. I found myself doing a lot of self deprecating humor which I saw being emulated through Graham. The problem being that I was just trying to be funny. I wasn't saying something I believed. However, when Graham did it, it was clear that he did believe it. His self deprecation is not humor. While the words were similar, out of him it clearly sounds more like a statement of belief.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not blaming myself for his lack of self esteem. There have been many factors that have contributed to the condition. The issue is that in order to help him out of this situation we have to provide him with examples of more productive and healthy thought processes. If he is going to mimic my behavior then we very definitely need him mimicking appropriate behavior.
We all have ways we can improve.
It turns out this has been a very good exercise for the whole family - especially for the girls.
This really seems like something that we can make a difference with I am so glad we have this little issue because I never understood enough about how the brain worked and how these patterns were established. I thought it was just who we were. It is nice to know that we have power to groom this in our our kiddos.
It is yet another example of the power of purpose.