What if We Pay More Attention to the Story We’re Telling our Kids?

This is the story of a mother and her beloved daughter. The little girl comes back from school crying. Her mom, terrified, asks her what’s going on. The kid answers through her tears she got only an “A” mark for her math exam. Relieved but frustrated by noticing her daughter is becoming a perfectionist, and, in a trial to awaken her, the mother slaps her little baby’s face. Suddenly, the girl stops crying, and here is the implicit message she’s getting and the pattern she’s subconsciously creating:

When you screw things up and that you’re feeling upset, you’re not allowed to show your emotions…

We need to pay extremely attention to the story we’re implicitly telling our kids. As Dr. Bruce Lipton is brilliantly stipulating:

“The program we acquired in the first 6 years shapes how we live our life. From the first 2 years before birth to the first 2 years, we are in the lowest frequency called “Delta”. For an adult, Delta is like sleeping or being unconscious. For a child, it is like being behind a window watching the world but can’t respond. From 2 to 6, there’s a higher activity called “Theta”. When we’re in Theta, it’s like imagination. That’s why children between 2 and 6 mix the real world and the imaginary world in their play. When the child gets to 6, another level starts called “Alpha” which is calm consciousness. When the child reaches 12, s/he can express all the ranges from “Delta”, “Theta”, “Alpha”, and this is like schoolroom consciousness called “Beta”. The most important point is that consciousness, the way we think consciousness, is not available to the child until after 6! The first 6 years are the programmable state. Whatever goes in the first 6 years is the first structure in the subconscious mind. This period of our life is where we learn the fundamentals of relationships, connections, family, and community.”

What if the mother did the following instead?

First, she starts by giving a big hug to her kid. Indeed, what the little girl needs most, at this stage, is to be reassured and to feel secure, and giving her a warm hug is producing Oxytocin in her veins: the chemical of trust & peace.

Now, she looks into her baby’s eyes with a genuine smile and tells her:

You know love, I fully understand… You adore being excellent and that’s completely legitimate. I also do. Excellence & quality is one of the Universal Correct Principles and I will never advise you the opposite! But, here is the thing sweetheart: We are allowed to fail. We are allowed to make mistakes; otherwise, we would just be robots, and this is the last thing I would wish you. Think about it as if you’re shutting down your emotions and killing your beauty & creativity… The most important thing to always keep in mind is how we respond to our failure. I want you to know and always remember this: even when you’ll be having an “F” mark, I will still love you and you will still be the best gift of the Universe. Who you are is more than enough baby love…

I am leaving it to you to imagine how this little girl would feel afterwards!

Not only what we tell our kids is important, but also who we are as a person

In the words of the lovely Brené Brown:

Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting

Starting by working on our own “never enough” conditioned lens, starting to truly love ourselves and move from the ‘reactivity’ sphere to the ‘proactivity’ and, ultimately, the ‘interdependency’ arena is a MUST if we’d like to have a chance to raise balanced kids engaging in life wholeheartedly, believing in themselves, able of critical thinking and of challenging the status quo, and emotionally smart enough to build healthy boundaries & relationships!

We messed up guys; we really did and for so long! This planet is bleeding and begging us for stopping the hemorrhage…

Maybe it’s time to clean up the mess we’ve created by practicing daily self-awareness and raising free spirits and passionate individuals feeling fulfilled by giving back to the world no matter how big or small, and by driving a real change much bigger than themselves?

Would you consider this, please?

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Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salemhttps://unleashgreatness.blogspot.com/
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.


  1. I am around the young every day. My own children, two of them, would come home complaining about so and so, this and that. “I would tell them; there are (3) sides to every story, yours, theirs, and the truth. Find the truth before making judgement. This became the montra for them and I have seen changes for the good. Great article

  2. Thank you for this, Myriam! What a lovely essay! Children should be treated with love, kindness, and the ability to feel safe in the world. By doing so, they are fortified and ready to navigate the bumpy journey we call life. I heard this in a movie once, ”When children grow up, their hearts break.” How true that is which is the reason we need to ward that off as long as they are children. As adults, they find that out soon enough.💖

  3. Thank you so much for this profound essay, Myriam! I appreciate the contrast you create between the first situation and the response of the mother in the second. When children realize that they can be loved for existing, for being here-completely separate from performance-or “earning the right to exist” or “earning the right to be loved,” we will likely live in a whole new world. The contents of our character become shaped as the we grow. May the character qualities of compassion, humility, courage, kindness, integrity, vulnerability, honesty be more important than earning A’s in school or awards at work.

    I also appreciate your encouragement for adults to do their work to heal and become self-aware with a well-honed ability to respond from core values rather than react from limiting beliefs, fears, or worn out old school ways.

    May the shift in consciousness continue for many. Thank you for ways you’ve illustrated a few ways that this can take place-and for weaving in the brilliant work of Dr. Bruce Lipton and Dr. Brene Brown. Fabulous.

    • Dear Laura, I thanked the universe and this amazing platform for having put you on my path before reading this masterpiece adding… No I really don’t know what to say…💎

      My mouth was open reading this… guess I was so thrilled seeing words I could have written myself! Goodness how amazing this feeling is 😍

      Here is my very favorite sentence: “we will likely live in a whole new world”

      That’s the dream my beautiful friend 💙 Thank you for being you! 🌞

  4. Myriam! I love this piece. It elegantly puts together books I’ve read in a way I never thought of. One of the most powerful parenting books I read was “The Parent’s Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents”. There are so many beautiful lessons in the book but my favorite is this one:

    Do not ask your children
    to strive for extraordinary lives.
    Such striving may seem admirable,
    but it is the way of foolishness.
    Help them instead to find the wonder
    and the marvel of an ordinary life.
    Show them the joy of tasting
    tomatoes, apples and pears.
    Show them hot to cry
    when pets and people die.
    Show them the infinite pleasure
    in the touch of a hand.
    And make the ordinary come alive for them.
    The extraordinary will take care of itself.

    We tend to put undue pressure on our children. We strive for material success so badly, they watch us, and they too want to have the same success. But the beauty of life is to stop. To show them the ordinary. And have them bask in gloriousness of regular things. I tell my children every night before bed – I love you no matter what and I think you are a wonderful boy/girl. Some days are bad and some days are good. But no matter what, we’ll make it through. We’ve got a lot to overcome! We all do. But loving ourselves needs to come first.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with me.

  5. This is an important reminder, Myriam. An additional piece to this raising of healthy, emotionally well-developed children is about the actual stories we tell about ourselves and about them. Researchers are seeing evidence that when we tell a story about our child, no matter what age, they absorb the characteristics we share with them as part of their identity. When we say: “Myriam always wakes up with a smile on her face! The other day, she…” That story can actually shape your identity for decades to come. So if we say: “When Sarah was 3, she was so oblivious that she got lost and walked right into a deep puddle, getting mud up to her hips.” Sarah likely believes that she’s oblivious, that it’s part of her personality, and will likely hold onto that belief for many, many years no matter how much evidence she accumulates that she is not.

    The same is true for the stories we tell about ourselves – our children are listening!

    • What a brilliant adding dear Sarah! Million thanks for stopping by and providing value! 💙

      Indeed, that’s EXACTLY how our limiting beliefs about ourselves are formed in the first place! And specifically because they are so ingrained and become part of our identify, we aren’t able of seeing the evidence to the contrary; simply because we’re unfortunately taking them for the absolute truth…😔 It requires making use of our humanly unique endowment we call self-awareness, so that we could hopefully reprogram and unbecome the filter! 🧚‍♀️

  6. Myriam, thank you for sharing your excellent message. We as parents do not always engage with our children as we should. We focus on their failures while failing to compliment them for all the good things they do. They know us as their parents but do they know us as people? Our children did not come with an instruction booklet when they were born yet little by little we have to learn to be effective parents. They need our unconditional love, support, and guidance. My children are all on their own now but I still keep up on parenting for the grandchildren.

  7. I love this piece, Myriam! This quote by Brene Brown is so true: “Who we are and how we engage with the world are much stronger predictors of how our children will do than what we know about parenting.” I just reread her book The Gifts of Imperfection, and this article reminds me that we can teach others how to embrace the rich tapestry that is uniquely each of us in the way we interact with one another. Thank you for sharing!

    • I’m so thrilled it resonated dear Melissa! This article in particular is close to my heart, since it’s part of the story of my life! Of course, I’m not blaming my mom! She’s one of the most loving and supportive mothers in the world! She did what her program told her was the right thing to do… It doens’t make much sense anyway to blame a person for something they ignore :)

      Thank you again for stopping by and for the uplifting words! I do appreciate you!