Parents, tell your children they have talent!

“Why wait for the wedding speech to finally tell your son all the good things we thought of him, the talents he has, the joy he has for us?», Father Pierre-Hervé Grosjean was surprised by our columns last year (see n ° 2252, pp. 24-25). True, our children have unique talents and we are always reluctant to tell them. Probably because we can see their shortcomings more easily than their qualities. Maybe it’s also because we’re afraid of making them arrogant creatures and because we consider it important to dig into their faults so they can fight them. Bad calculations, answers psychologist Valérie Colin-Simard. “Contrary to our expectations, our children are very obedient. They model clay. Our vision, our words will carve them. If it is negative, they will see themselves as negative. If they are positive, they will gain self -confidence. » The expert pointed to an experiment conducted a few years ago in a class: dunces were presented by teachers as good students. In just a few weeks, with the kind attention of their teachers, their school results improved!

What young people want

“Young people are especially interested in their abilities and talents can be “raised and discovered”. […] “I need you!”, “You can do it!”; What a benefit such a request is to us! »

Benedict XVI, on the occasion of the world meeting of volunteers, September 9, 2007.

“Our children are a concentration of talents”

“Our children are created in the image of God, they are above all a concentration of talents. To point out their faults and problems, to make them doubt their worth, is to reject God’s plan for them. ”did not hesitate to express Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie, the founder of the association “Au coeur des hommes” and author ofFulfilling his life as a human being. Give birth, live and bless (Artege). Not discussing their virtues with them is worse than pointing out their mistakes or saying poisonous words, he also believes. “You can always separate yourself from a word of curse, in the sense of saying something bad, while silence gives way to doubt, which is the enemy of self -confidence.»

“The mission of any teacher is to ensure that the child builds his or her self -esteem, otherwise he or she may resort to risky behavior”abunda the Salesian Father Jean-Marie Petitclerc, co-author of Developing the talents of our children (Mom). For this special teacher, a child will only give the best of himself when he can meet “Revealers of talent” who will help him discover and produce his qualities. This is why Father Grosjean regrets this delayed diversion of praises. “Many young people lack self-confidence because they are not motivated. They have not yet heard enough from their parents, from their priests, from their teachers, those words of encouragement that empower, that uplift, that grow you. It used to be [le mariage] that a young person should hear all the good things his parents think about him! Not to make him useless, but to encourage him and ask him: “What are you going to do with these gifts?” »he justified.

The Marvelous Power of “Words of Blessing”

Among these revealers of talent, parents are on the front line. “It’s their jobassured Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie, a person can of course gain self -confidence from other people, but the perspective of the parents is irreplaceable, and especially of the father. Because, unlike the mother who is fusional and represents unconditional love, the father is on the outside of the child and shows him or her more like a target figure. It gives his words great power. » So it is up to us, parents, to tell our children what their qualities are. Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie talks about “words of blessing”Latin GOOD and dicere, to speak well. They have extraordinary power, a “Cool kiss double effect”he said: to increase self-confidence and strengthen the quality in question. “Praise is performative. By pronouncing it, we make it happen and we put it in the heart of the child who needs to hear them in order to root it. In other words, a child can observe that he is a good football player, but if his father tells him, he will be convinced of it and his performance will increase tenfold, and if his father encourages him during a in the game, there it is. a safe bet he’ll get better results ”he explained.

Blessings at all times

What if, in addition to blessing (from Latin BLESSINGliterally “say good things”) to our children, do we bless our loved ones, friends or enemies, the times we live in, good or bad? “Blessing changes everything in its path, promises Virginie Toulouse in her latest book. She is the creator of new life. It changes relationships, hearts return to themselves. It also changes the person who says it. » A real nugget that combines spiritual reflections and concrete advice. And that calls for a revolution of hearts.

Change your life, be a blessing!by Virginie Toulouse, Mame, 96 pages, € 12.90.

How is the couple’s roles distributed? Is it just the mother of “bulahan” his daughter and the father to bless his son? When should it be done? “Everyone has to do it all the time! », cut Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie. The mother will no doubt find it easier to say things, but the father must not trust her and must also utter words of blessing. For psychologist Valérie Colin-Simard, “A child needs both parents. In general, the mother helps him build self-confidence, i.e., his identity, his inner self, and the father’s self-confidence, i.e. the ability to achieve goals. thing in the world. But we can say, without generalization, he needed to look more to his mother when he was a child, then to his father when he was a teenager.. However, he noticed that the father had to be very careful to give value to his daughter, especially to tell her, in addition to her talents, that she was beautiful and intelligent.

It remains to be seen how to accurately identify your child’s talents. Father Petitclerc advised to re-read with him his activities, sporting, artistic or otherwise, to find out what they revealed in his gifts. It also invites parents to compare their view of their child with that of teacher, teacher, scout leader, because the child always reveals himself or herself differently outside the family. It would be very useful if, in disbelief, he replied: “Obviously, you said that because I’m your son …” And to avoid making him a proud creature, “You have to help him discover the joy that is in putting his talents into the service of others,” Father Petitclerc continued. It was also an opportunity to teach him to pay attention to the talents of others and to rejoice with them..

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