This article in the New York Times has been out for a couple of days but it really took me a while to read it because I know that mindset affects age.

Everyone knows that.

If you think you are younger, you’ll feel a little bit younger.  

What if Age is Nothing but a Mind-Set?

But the results in some of the studies in this article are mind blowing!  You can lose weight, be younger, be happier just by changing one word in your vocabulary.

But one thing they don’t mention is children and I think it is even more poignant how children can change through perspective.

Imagine– if adults can physically lose weight just from believing that they are healthier, what would happen to your child’s behavior if they thought they were great kids.

Here’s a scenario (imagined only after you read the whole article): You are at a friend’s house and a mom with a toddler walks in and says, “Oh man, Let me sit down a second before my son starts tearing up the whole house and breaking things.”

And within five minutes, he is running around and trying to get things to throw.

Here’s scenario number two: The same friend’s house, and the same mother walks in with her toddler and the friend says, “Should I get these things out of your way so that he can’t reach them?” And the mom responds, “No, he is very respectful and your things will be fine.”  And even if in five minutes the toddler starts to reach for something (which he probably won’t), the mom can remind him, “no touching, that’s not ours”.

In the first scenario, the mom is setting her child up for poor behavior, however in the second scenario, the same mom is setting up the same child for success!

What if Age is Nothing but a Mind-Set?

I have twins boys so just about everywhere I go, I hear, “Are they twins?  Wow, they must be a handful!”  

Can you imagine?  All my boys’ life they have been hearing that they are a handful which is a really nice way to say that they are difficult.   

But get this, I always respond, “A handful of love!

So for their three long years, they have been hearing about how they are full of love every time they meet a stranger.

You can change your child’s behavior by changing the words you use around them, to describe them, and when you ask them to do things.

This isn’t about praise, I’m not telling you to start telling your children that they are smart, or that their picture is beautiful.  I’ll talk about praise another day, this is about changing one or two words in how you describe your child to other people and how you set their course and give them the perspective that they are good kids!

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