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The 10 Best Things Every Mother Ever Told Her Child

The 10 Best Things Every Mother Ever Told Her Child

Whether or not we realize it, most of us operate on default based upon the messages our parents communicated to us as children. If we were lucky enough to have folks who made it their mission to empower us, the chances are better that we take a sense of high self-esteem into the world every day. As we groom our own children to become the planet’s future leaders, remember that what we tell them will influence how they show up for life. Keeping that in mind, here are the 10 best things every mother ever told her child:

1. “I love you.”

There are people in this world who don’t ever hear their parents say, “I love you.” We all want to hear it. We all need to feel it. Not hearing the words, “I love you,” could impair a child’s future ability to express love and affection to others, causing the cycle to repeat.

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” We each have the chance to make that happen. We can start by telling the child in our lives that we love them…every day.

2. “You can do it.”

In the eyes and heart of a child, the smallest of things can look and feel scarier than they should (Santa Claus, for example). A mother who tells her child they “can do it” is teaching that child to face life’s obstacles with courage and resolve. This child will grow into an adult who will be willing to take risks by looking fear straight in the eye and saying, “Let’s do it!”

The willingness of any individual to keep pushing the boundaries will ensure his or her personal evolution and the expansion of our species. (Think Ben Franklin and the light bulb here!)

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3. “Everything is going to be OK.”

In today’s world, kids face different challenges than any of us ever could have imagined even a decade ago. Unfortunately, more kids are turning to permanent solutions (like suicide) to solve temporary problems. When your child is going through pain, make them a promise.

Promise your child that if they just hold on, the pain will pass, and everything will be OK. By helping to strengthen your child’s determination when life gets to be too much, you will be empowering them with the sliver of hope we all need to feel sometimes. Your child will also learn hard times aren’t forever, and by experiencing pain, a person can come out the other end stronger, wiser, and happier.

4. “Be kind.”

People can be mean. In fact, sometimes these mean people can be our own siblings. The best way to disarm someone else’s meanness is with kindness.

When your child is dealing with a Mean Girls situation, remind them that responding with unkindness will only breed more hostility and drama. It is important for a child to stand up for themself in a situation where they are being mistreated, but coach your child to do this with dignity and respect. If your child will be placing themself in harm’s way by responding (even with kindness), give your child permission to do what they can to remove the mean person from their life (with your support, if necessary).

5. “Be yourself.”

This is the mantra of many parents. It is, however, difficult for parents to truly allow their kids to be themselves. We sometimes treat our children as though they are here to please us. As a result, we can punish them for acting in ways we don’t approve of, but that might be authentic for them.

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The fact is that each of us, including our children, are here to realize our own purpose. It’s difficult to let kids make their own ‘mistakes’ when we ‘know’ how things are going to turn out. As parents, we should understand our children’s decisions are necessary for their personal growth. The lessons they learn from acting authentically will be much stronger than any lesson they might learn from parents just telling them ‘how it is’ or how they ‘should’ be.

You can still coach, guide and reprimand your child. However, by giving your kid some freedom to grow into their fullest potential, you give the both of you a gift: the gift of letting go (for you) and the gift of expression (for them).

6. “After you eat your broccoli, it’s time for bed.”

Moms really know what they are talking about here. To keep your body and mind in optimum performance mode, you must take care of yourself by (drumroll)…eating right, getting exercise, and getting enough rest.

Lead your children by example; give yourself the gift of whole, healthy food and adequate sleep. Help your kids in removing the physical, mental and emotional issues that come with poor health and lifestyle choices. Raise your little ones to be thankful for their beautiful, perfect bodies and to treat those bodies with love.

7. “Time out.”

Life isn’t fair. We don’t always get what we want. When this happens to kids, many go into meltdown mode. Actually…this can happen with adults, too; when our plans are derailed by something or someone, it can cause an individual to react out of anger or descend into a bout of despair.

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When things go sideways, cultivate in your child the value of taking a ‘time out.’ By learning to stop, step back, and breathe, your kid will learn to regroup. A time out will allow your child the chance to consider a different perspective and potentially redefine the situation in a way that works for him or her. The ability to do this as an adult enables us to create our own happiness by choosing how we will manage things that don’t go our way.

8. “Say, ‘Thank you.’”

Raise a child to say, “Thank you,” so they can learn good manners. More importantly though, teach your child to feel gratitude in their heart for every minute of every day. Regardless of what drama and pain might be happening, there is always an opportunity for something greater in that difficult experience. By raising a child to be thankful in the midst of turmoil, you will be nurturing a resilient human with the power to shift any circumstance into something amazing.

9. “Never quit.”

Life can be hard, even for a kid. School gets tough. So do relationships. As we get older, competition for jobs, money and status turns fierce.

Whatever it is your child wants to accomplish, they should remember to keep on trucking even after failure strikes once, twice, or hundreds of times. Your child should understand that just because they haven’t gotten something ‘right’ yet, things aren’t over. Tell your child that if they hold a dream, they should never quit, and should take little steps every day for as long as they have that dream in their heart.

10. “It’s OK to quit.”

Sometimes dreams change. Sometimes we realize we don’t want something we once did. However, sometimes giving up the pursuit of a dream feels like failure even if we really don’t want the dream anymore.

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Give your child permission to call it quits. Remind them that if they are quitting something because that is what they truly want, there is power in quitting. This will serve your child well as they grow into an adult who wants to make a change—be that from a college major, a job, a career, or a life partner.

If you are a parent, remember the force behind these 10 best things every mother ever told her child. Choose your words wisely. Those words will be largely responsible for your child’s destiny and our collective future on this planet.

Featured photo credit: bright picture of hugging mother and daughter via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

1. Be Authentic

To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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2. Listen

Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

3. Become an Expert

Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

4. Lead with Story

From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

5. Lead by Example

It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

6. Catch People Doing Good

A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

7. Be Effusive with Praise

It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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10. Understand Your Lane

If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

Final Thoughts

Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

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Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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