My approach is founded on the belief that every child is born with a unique nature, and when that nature is nurtured and honoured, the child develops a powerful sense of self-worth and personal value.
As children grow, they receive information about who they are and their purpose in the world, and when children feel good about themselves, their behaviour improves.
If children move through life and do not receive the message, ‘I am worthwhile and I belong here’, then where will they go to find the feeling of belonging?
Children and teens are very clever at making connections within their environment. With an innate desire to belong, they look within their immediate environment to find their place and learn about themselves.
The problem is that children are, in part, products of their environment, and are often unintentionally sent messages from parents and teachers that ultimately do them a disservice.
These messages are usually repeatedly embedded in responses to unwanted behaviour, such as:
‘You’re too much’,
‘I’ve had enough of you’,
‘You’re driving me crazy’, or
These responses do not separate the child from their behaviour and will inevitably result in a sense of shame. Shame does not change behaviour; it makes it worse.
Children, who feel a sense of shame for who they are, feel unimportant and misunderstood. I believe this is an unseen and yet to be recognised contributor to our country’s alarming youth suicide statistics.
It is not uncommon for a child to think the following:
‘I’m not loved until I behave myself’,
‘I need to be something more’,
‘I need to be more like my brother’, or
‘I am worthless’.
When these thoughts are present, a child will unconsciously think it is not safe or worthwhile to be themselves, so they will try to be someone else. That someone else I call their ‘second nature’.
A child’s second nature often presents itself as a dysfunctional version of that nature, meaning you will see the challenges of their second nature appear more often than the qualities.
For example, if a child’s dominant nature was Social and their second nature was Structured, you would see the challenges of the Structured Nature emerging when they are living in their second Nature.
Ideally, if children are surrounded by people who accept them and affirm their true nature, they receive the messages:
‘I am important’,
‘I have something to contribute’, and
‘I am valuable just the way I am’.
It is only when children and teenagers realise their strengths that they will overcome their weaknesses. Only when they truly see the value in themselves, will their tomorrows be bright.
When parents discover which one of the four Natures their child leads with, they will have the insight needed to support them.
Learn more at www.thenzsupernanny.co.nz