Being a kind and loving parent is all that your children want from you. They want your attention and support. If you notice the good in your family members and tell them honestly and specifically, you will be setting the table for raising youngsters with caring hearts.

Using blame, shame or seeking to control over your child can only have a Ripple Effect that is short term and hurts rather than helps, share how to build a healthy family identity.

The Ripple Effect and Brain Waves

Parents cause ripples with their words and actions. When children hear adults frequently reaffirm compliments or put-downs their brain waves recite them as subliminal personal beliefs. The next time they do something nice or not so nice the resulting ripples can turn into good or bad feelings about themselves.

7 Things that Erode your Child’s Self Esteem and Why

When we are tired, frustrated and running out of patience parents can become judgmental and a use blame or shame to get their child to cooperate. If you have said any of these things, you are not alone. However, now that you are aware it’s time to repair. If a child hears the ripples of criticism often enough, he’ll begin to believe that is who he is.

When he believes the words, he may even act on them, thinking: “if you say I’m bad, I’ll show you how bad I can be.” There are some examples that become a child’s inner self talk when a critical parent utters them enough:

  1. “You never do your chores,” becomes “Mom’s right, I am lazy.”
  2. “You’re spoiled rotten,” becomes “I’m no good.”
  3. “You whine too much,” becomes “Dad’s right, I am a complainer.”
  4. “You always get your way,” becomes “I am selfish.”
  5. “You lie to get out of being punished,” becomes “I’m a liar.”
  6. “I can’t believe you did that, you are so bad,” becomes “I am not loveable.”
  7. “You’re pathetic,” becomes “I am weak.”

Criticism rarely helps a child become better. It will not “thicken” his skin or “make him a man.” It often increases the child’s anger, bitterness and sadness.  Ask yourself, “Do I like criticism?”  If you said, “Yes,” then you are rare.  If you said, “No,” then consider how your child will feel when criticized.

This Ripple Effect of negativity weakens a child’s ability to care about others and can turn inward to even dislike himself.

How to Raise a Caring Family

Cultivating thoughtfulness in children isn’t difficult. If you have a loving home life, you are providing a strong foundation for you children. If you model empathy, compassion and caring you become a powerful influence for your children’s behavior.

Ask your child/ren, “What do you want our family to be like?” “What would we be doing to show we are like this?”

Bonding Activity to Build Family Values and Character

  • We love each other
  • We care about others
  • We help others
  • We encourage others
  • We are patient with others
  • We keep our work
  • We work hard
  • We listen well
  • We are loyal
  • We tell the truth
  • We are trustworthy
  • We are brave even when it’s hard to be brave

Discuss these values and pick 5 or 6 and post them on the fridge or put them where all will see them.  Parents who are open-minded and care about people in and outside the family, help their children develop healthy thoughts and feeling toward others. Challenge family members to notice these qualities in each other as they occur.

The Ripple Effect for building a healthy family identity can propel children to act toward others with wholesome family values. It creates a mindset of goodness that can last a lifetime. Why? Because it’s likely, if you clearly and honestly see yourself as a good person, you will be good to others. It’s who you are. It all begins with the parent’s words and actions. It can expand children’s’ character to be positive, strong and caring or it can weaken them to become negative, hurt and self-absorbed.

Criticism is sour. Compliments are sweet.

Armed with traits like empathy, caring and compassion, your family members will spread ripples that promote goodness throughout the world. What could be better than that?



Written by Cindy Marvin

Cindy Marvin

Cindy Marvin is a parenting coach, educator, speaker and founder of Repairenting, LLC. Her mission is to help families reconnect and begin to enjoy their time with one another and Bring Harmony Home. Through her ability to deeply listen without judgment and create a safe environment, Cindy helps families create positive changes in their lives that have dramatic lasting effects for years to come.