Well-known author and psychologist, Martin Seligman, is the father of the popular new movement that has had strong impact in Australian schools, Positive Psychology.Seligman has been a master of the scientific exploration of human happiness, such as: why do some people see a glass half full and others, only dregs, writes Jonathan Doyle (pictured) in Aurora.
Like any area of human behaviour there is always a complex interplay of biology, environment and spirituality that determines how each of us walks upon the lofty peaks and through the intermittent valleys of life.
However, something that stayed with me upon reading one of Seligman’s recent books was the powerful role of language in shaping our experience of life. I want to suggest that both what we say as parents and the language structures we permit in our homes can and do have a powerful long-term impact on our kids. In short, your words, and theirs, shape your respective worlds.
By language I am not talking so much about getting our kids to stop using certain expressions that might make the odd sailor blush. If I’m honest, when I hit myself with a hammer I don’t tend to say, “Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of physical pain.”
The truth is that our language gives shape to our experience. We begin to believe what we repeatedly say. It is the tool we use to interpret the things that happen to us. But, we actually have enormous control over how we express what happens to us.
In essence then, my question is, what is the tone of your home? Is it a positive place to be? How do key people in your family speak about adversity or success? According to Seligman, the language you hear each day inside the four walls of your suburban castle is a powerful indicator of the long-term outcomes for each person.
FULL STORY What's the tone of your home? (Aurora)