I stood in the corridor of my daughter’s dance studio waiting for ballet class to finish. The walls were lined with posters of kittens and violins and satin toe shoes, each displaying some cutesy motivational quote. I was shocked. With great intentions, these quotes displayed lies parents tell their kids.
If you dream it, you can do it.
Nothing is impossible for you.
Now is your time to shine!
Do those words make you feel warm and fuzzy? Or, like me, do your raise your eyebrows?
Instead of using these lies parents tell their kids, let’s encourage our kids with the truth.
I’m all for building my children’s confidence. But there’s a big difference between puffing up and pointing up. Here are four popular statements you won’t hear me saying to my kids.
1. “You can be anything you want to be.”
No, my precious girls, you will be exactly who God designed you to be—beautiful, unique, valued and loved. He gave you certain gifts and abilities, chosen just for you by a perfect and purposeful God, and if you spend your life discovering and using those gifts wisely then you will be successful in the deepest sense.
Still, always remember that what you do is not who you are. You are a child of God, period (John 1:12). Don’t compare yourself to anybody else, and don’t for a second believe God was sleeping on the job the day your talents were doled out. You are you for a reason.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:14).
2. “Believe in yourself.”
Believe first in your God who created you and is capable of doing amazing things through you (Philippians 4:13). Yes, you are powerful, more powerful than you know, because Christ’s power is at work within you.
“He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you’” (Luke 17:6).