Larsen’s Words That Work – for Children

Yes, as a motivational speaker, I do address the topic of how to motivate your children to make wise choices.  And since I started traveling down this parenthood road (a whole heck of a lot of years ago), I’ve learned quite a bit about what works – and a WHOLE lot about what doesn’t work.

This is a picture of me with my grown son, Miles.  He’s a pretty astonishing young man in SO many ways and I have always been extremely proud of him.  And I always thought that as a parent a big part of my job was to make certain that he knew this.  So everytime he did something positive that I wanted to reinforce, I took that opportunity to tell him just how very proud I was of him..  Then, not too long ago, I heard something that really made me wish I could could go back and do things a bit differently.

My friend, Diane Weiss, who is a child development and parenting education specialist suggested that while it is very important to tell your child that you are proud of him, it is equally important that he learns to be proud of himself.  She suggested that when a child does something praise worthy (maybe puts away his toys, shares with a playmate or gets a good grade) that we say to him something along the lines of, “Wow. Look at what you did!  You must be proud of yourself!”

I got to thinking about this and it makes total sense!  We cannot be around our children 24/7 to praise them whenever they do something positive.  What we want is for THEM to learn to be the judge of their actions so they can strive to meet their OWN high standards when we are not around.  When someone hands our daughter her first beer at a party we want her to think to herself, “I will be proud of myself if I refuse this drink.”  We don’t want her thinking, “Well, mom’s not around to tell me she’ll be proud of me if I don’t take it.  She’ll never know so what’s the difference!”

“You must be proud of yourself.”  GREAT Words That Work for children…

From your Motivational Speaker and a very proud Mom, Linda Larsen



Motivational Speaker Linda Larsen, CSP has been described by meeting planners and audiences as "hysterically funny," and "riveting." Known for her ability to connect on an authentic and emotional level with audiences, her spontaneous sense of humor, and her engaging and powerful stories, Linda is passionate about sharing ideas to help people live their finest, best, and most productive lives. Her riveting and true story of being kidnapped and held hostage at gunpoint by an escaped convict, and the strategies she used to escape, will give people the tools THEY need to rise above any of life's toughest challenges, to communicate more effectively with THEIR difficult person, and to find creative solutions to THEIR problems. To book motivational speaker, Linda Larsen: 941-927-4700

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  1. Oh thank you Linda! As a dad who muddles his way through the parenting jungle, this is sage advice indeed. So seemingly simple and obvious an orientation… yet I was oblivious to it. I’m excited to get home to find opportunities to apply what I’ve learned!

  2. Linda, this is awesome! Who ever thought to apply the truth of motivational speakers to our children! Duh!!! Brilliant. And I have never heard of this. I’m going to go do this right now with my son.

    Great post! You must be really proud of yourself.

  3. That all important self esteem develops in children when parents communicate in such a way. Great advice! From what I know of your fine son, you don’t have to touch a hand on that clock 1 minute back in time! He’s a wonderful guy!

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