We’re often asked about whether our glass is half empty or half full. Some are confident that theirs are half full, many would like to say it’s half full but actually feel that it’s half empty. Whether you feel that your glass is half full or half empty is often a subject of the environment you are surrounded by. Whether it’s negative or positive. That begins with childhood.
Children are born into the world fresh and new. They are individual and their personalities are developing. They do not know right from wrong and it’s down to an adult to guide and nurture them into adulthood. Therefore we can assume that a child is born with a glass that is neither half full nor half empty. They have no expectations or experience. The environment that the child is subjected to can give an indication as to whether that child begins adulthood with a half empty or half full glass.
For a child their environment will mostly consist of:
- Family relations
- Friends of the family
If in the majority of those areas the children moves forward through childhood with positivity then the child has a greater chance of starting adulthood with a higher level of esteem and therefore with a much fuller glass of water. They will be prepared to face the challenges and negativity that may occur during their adulthood.
But shouldn’t we toughen our children up to prepare them for adulthood?
Yes children should be disciplined. But discipline is more effective if the child has been positively parented. Children learn by example. If the child is positively parented and taught through praise, love, friendship, sharing and kindness then they will more than likely display the positive traits themselves. If a child therefore misbehaves and the parent has to tell the child off with a raised voice, the child will quickly learn right from wrong. Such meagre telling off will not take from your child’s glass that you are filling with water. But trying to toughen a child with tough parenting, harsh smacking and put downs will take huge sips of water.
Of course it can be difficult to make sure that our children do not come across negativity. It doesn’t matter how positive a parent might be when parenting. Children will come across other influences that will take away sips of water. Every time a teacher, a relation, a family friend or even a peer. Bullies, scolds, teases in an unfriendly manner, hits or behaves in a cruel way. They take more of that water away and the glass becomes emptier.
The less water left in the glass from the sips from negativity and our children will begin to feel not worthy, unable to stand up for themselves and always wrong. Our child will start their adulthood with a much emptier glass and more worries. Therefore they will not have a full enough glass of water to help them with the challenges of life. The more positively that child has been raised and the more positive experiences that they’ve had will prepare and help them to begin to understand the vicious cycle. The vicious cycle of somebody taking away some of their water through negative put downs. They will also begin to understand that they can regain water by refilling the negatives with positives. I believe that for every negative behaviour experienced it is important to replace with a positive. This is vital when surviving the falls and challenges that life throws and it’s important to recognise this behaviour within ourselves. A vital component to keeping mental health how it should be. Healthy.
Nobody is perfect in this life but everybody has their own contribution and it’s vital that our children are raised in a way that they understand their importance and value. They will understand this more if they have a fuller glass.