How to Teach Kids to Access Their Inner Wisdom
Earlier this year I was humbled to find myself on stage in front of about 100 girls and teens talking about connecting with your Inner Wisdom and my book, Big Fat Lies Women Tell Themselves. Darlin, it was a tough crowd. I felt like you could hear a pin drop as I talked about the Inner Mean Girls I’ve encountered inside myself and my clients. I talked about a few of the archetypes that Christine Arylo and I have identified in our work at Inner Mean Girl Reform School:
I asked the girls to break into groups and do the Wake-Up Call Three Step Process and prayed they were getting value. It was so hard to tell if I was having any impact at all, as these sweet girls kept their eyes to the ground and shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.
Afterwards many of the girls came up to me with tears in their eyes thanking me for speaking up for how hard they are on themselves. (Phew!) These girls were beating themselves up about everything from their looks to grades to popularity. It seems like by the time our girls reach 12, they are lost in a swirl of Big Fat Lies.
So what can we do about it? It’s time we taught our kids from a young age how to access their Inner Wisdom! Whether you have children of your own or not, I know there is a child in your life that you can make a difference with. So I created a mini-script to get the conversation going with the little ones in your life.
It is best to broach this topic when you notice your little one is being hard on herself and you have some space and are ready for some connection time. In other words, do NOT bring this up when you only have 5 minutes to process or are at an amusement park or are in the midst of a power struggle or argument (been there, done that…it doesn’t go so well!)
You: Sweetie, I can see that you are being really hard on yourself about __________ (not getting the grade you wanted, how your hair looks, that you didn’t get invited to the party etc.)
The Kiddo: Yes…I ALWAYS get __________ (Hint: absolutes like always, never, every time etc. are a tell tale sign that an Inner Mean Girl and her Big Fat Lies are afoot!)
You: I have some friends that call the voice that says stuff like that our Inner Mean Girl. She is that voice in our head that compares us and criticizes us. My friends even say it can be fun to give your Inner Mean Girl a name. I call mine Crazy Cleo because she tells me mean things all the time and drives me crazy!
The Kiddo: You have a voice in your head that says mean things to you too?
You: Yep. Here are some of the things that my Inner Mean Girl says to me. (Then share authentically and age appropriately!) What does your Inner Mean Girl say to you?
The Kiddo: She tells me that I’ll never _________ and that I’m ____________
You: (Take a breath…and don’t try to fix or deny it…just be there!) Ouch! Wow your Inner Mean Girl is so mean! What do you want to name her?
The Kiddo: Let’s call her ___________
You: Alright…well here’s the good news. Your Inner Mean Girl and my Inner Mean Girl are BOTH Big Fat Liars. They tell us both Big Fat Lies all the time to try to keep us small…and I say that we start tuning into the truth instead.
The Kiddo: How do we do that?
You: I learned from my friends that we also have a voice inside of us that tells us the truth. It’s the voice of our Inner Wisdom. I connect to my Inner Wisdom by __________ (share what you really do to connect to your Inner Wisdom. Do you meditate? Exercise? Listen to your favorite song?). Close your eyes right now and let’s see if you can hear your Inner Wisdom.
The Kiddo: . I can see/hear/feel her! (She might also say she can’t hear anything…that’s OK…it is important to experiment. Either way, ask the next question.)
You: What does your Inner Wisdom know?
The Kiddo: That I’m beautiful just as a I am (or some other profound truth…I’ve had a girl say once “Imperfect is the new perfect.” Wow!)
If you’re a parent, you may want to also establish a time each day as Inner Wisdom time. Or on a regular basis, ask “What does your Inner Wisdom know?” It can also be wonderful to acknowledge when her Inner Mean Girl is talking…only when it is safe and appropriate!
May you feel connected with your Inner Wisdom today!
P.S. I ALWAYS love your feedback. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think and how it goes!
Main Image Credit: Free Digital Photos