Parents, tell your kids they have talent!

“Why wait for the wedding speech to finally tell your child all the good things we think about him, the talents he has, the joy he is for us?”, was surprised by Father Pierre-Hervé Grosjean in our columns last year (see No. 2252, pp. 24-25). It’s true, our children have incredible talents, and we are all too often reluctant to tell them. Probably because we tend to see their shortcomings more easily than their qualities. Probably also because we are afraid of making them proud beings, and because we consider it essential to emphasize their faults so that they fight them. Bad calculation, answers psychologist Valérie Colin-Simard. “Contrary to many people’s beliefs, our children are very obedient. They model clay. Our gaze, our words will shape them. If these are negative, they will see themselves as negative. If they are positive, they gain confidence. » The expert points to an experiment conducted several years ago in a classroom: Dunces had been presented to teachers as excellent students. In just a few weeks, with the benevolent gaze of their teachers, their school results had improved!

What the young people want

“Young people specifically want their abilities and talents for it be “traveled and discovered”. […] “I need you!”, “You can do it!”; how much such a request does us good! »

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

“Our children are a concentration of talents”

“Our children are created in the image of God, they are above all a concentrate of talents. To point out their faults and problems, to make them doubt their worth, is to deny God’s plan for them.”does not hesitate to claim Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie, founder of the association “Au coeur des hommes” and author ofFulfill his life as a man. Give birth, live and bless (Artege). Never discussing their qualities with them is even worse than pointing out their mistakes or speaking poisonous words, he also believes. “One can always detach oneself from a curse word, in the sense of speaking badly, while silence gives way to doubt, which is the enemy of self-confidence. »

“Every educator’s mission is to ensure that the child builds his self – esteem, otherwise he may assume risky behavior”abounds the Salesian Father Jean-Marie Petitclerc, co-author of To develop our children’s talents (Mame). For this specialized educator, a child will only give the best of himself if he meets “talent reveal” which will help him to discover and bring his qualities to life. That’s why Father Grosjean regrets this belated avalanche of compliments. “Many young people lack self-confidence because they have not been encouraged enough. They have not heard enough from their parents, from their pastors, from their teachers, the words of encouragement, which strengthen, which uplift, which make you grow. That’s before [le mariage] that a young man needs to hear all the good his parents think of him! Not to make him vain, but to encourage him and ask him, “What are you going to do with these gifts?” »he justifies.

The Extraordinary Power of the “Word of Blessing”

Among these talent revealers are parents at the front line. “It’s their jobassures Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie, one can, of course, gain the confidence of other people, but the views of the parents are irreplaceable, and in particular those of the father. For unlike the mother, who is fused and represents unconditional love, the father is external to the child and appears to him more as an objective figure. This gives his words an enormous power. » It is therefore up to us, the parents, to tell our children what their qualities are. Bertrand Chevallier-Chantepie talks about “blessing words”latin well and dicere, to speak well. They possess extraordinary power, a “Cool kiss double effect”he says: to increase self-confidence and strengthen the said quality. “Praise is performative. By pronouncing them, we make them happen, and we install them in the heart of the child who needs to hear them to root for them. In other words, a child can observe that he is a good football player, but if his father tells him so, he will be convinced of it, and his performance will be tenfold, and if his father encourages him during a match, there is a sure bet that he will get better results “he explains.

Bless at all times

What if, in addition to blessing (from Latin blessedliterally “saying good things”) our children, we bless our loved ones, friends or enemies, the time we live, good or bad? “Blessing transforms everything in its path,” promises Virginie Toulouse in her latest book. She is the creator of new life. It transforms relationships, hearts turned towards themselves. It also deeply transforms the person uttering it. » A real nugget of gold that combines spiritual reflections and concrete advice. And that calls for the revolution of hearts.

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

How to distribute the roles in the couple? Is it up to mom to “bless” his daughter and father to bless his son? When should it be done? “Everyone has to do it all the time!”, slice 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 blessing words. For psychologist Valérie Colin-Simard, “The child needs both parents. In general, the mother helps him build self-esteem, that is, his being, his inner self, and his father’s self-confidence, that is, the ability to achieve goals in the world. But we can say, without generalizing, that he would rather need his mother’s gaze more when he’s young than his father’s when he’s a teenager.. However, she notes that the father needs to pay special attention to appreciating his daughter, especially to tell her, in addition to her talents, that she is beautiful and intelligent.

It remains to be seen how to accurately identify your child’s talents. Father Petitclerc advises to reread his activities, sporting, artistic or otherwise, with him to see what they reveal of his gifts. It also invites parents to compare their view of their child with that of the teacher, the educator, the scout leader, because the child often reveals himself differently outside the family circle. Very helpful when in unbelief he answers: “Of course you say that because I’m your son …” And to avoid making him a proud creature, “You have to help him discover the happiness that is putting his talents in the service of others,” Father Petitclerc continues. It is also an opportunity to teach him to be aware of the talents of others and to rejoice with them..

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