Do You Believe In Fairies?

One of the most beautiful parts of childhood is our ability to believe in all sorts of stuff. From fairies to Santa Claus. From wise words from our favourite teachers to life lessons from our most beloved aunt.

What we choose to believe in at any given moment has an enormous impact on how we experience our lives. As parents, we often encourage such beliefs in our kids so that they can immerse themselves in their imaginations. We get the warm fuzzies when we watch them engaging in role playing pirates or building entire worlds out of Lego. We love hearing them want to stay up all night to get a glimpse of the elusive fat man in red. We glow when we see them creating shops out of big cardboard boxes.

The amazing thing is that kids have this innate ability to believe what they want to – even without proof, evidence, or an Instagram snapshot.

And even more wonderful is that we can help our children to develop beliefs about themselves that will support them to reach their potential and feel as magical about themselves as they do about the Easter bunny.

Like most things in life, what we decide to believe about ourselves is a choice.

Last year, there was a boy in my son’s class who spent a lot of energy embarrassing and putting down other students. He did this with words, with exclusions, and sometimes, by being physical. Jake, my boy, had come home on several occasions upset and hurt by an incident with this other child.

I could see that Jake’s emotions were running high, yet more importantly, I could hear that he was creating a lot of meaning out of these incidents. He was deciding that he was a pushover and that the other child was a bully. He believed that there must be something wrong with him.

While my instinct was to placate my son, to cuddle him and say how perfect he is – I knew that this would have been in direct conflict with his current beliefs. Instead, we had a deep discussion about what else he could believe about the situation that would help him to deal with it. In the midst of it all, my son was able to realise that this other boy was pretty unhappy, found school really challenging and was even having a lot of turmoil at home. By the end of it, my son was able to believe that it really wasn’t about him being “soft”; rather it was about the other person being sad and not knowing how to cope.

A few days later, Jake came home upset, again. When I asked him what happened, he told me about another incident. His feelings were hurt, and he knew that. However, what came out next was remarkable:

“I am sad, “ he explained, “but I am more sorry that the only way this boy can make himself feel good is to try to make me feel small. I’m sad, but I’m not small.”

This small, yet significant shift in self-belief has given my son the resilience to deal with school yard squabbles in a totally different way.

So how can you help your kids choose beliefs that will support them as they navigate their way through life?


Here are some first steps:

  1. Listen – Beliefs often come out in conversation. Be on the lookout for generalised statements, such as: I am…., School is…., I never…, I’m always…..
  1. Acknowledge – It is so easy to want to dismiss these beliefs as “untrue” – however, beliefs rarely change because someone else says they should. Instead, acknowledge those beliefs, and make sure you are understanding them. Saying things like, “So you believe that you are the worst soccer player on the team?” Or, “In your mind, teachers never notice you?” or “You think that you will never improve in spelling.”
  1. Challenge – In a way that works for your child, challenge them think about alternative meanings or beliefs that the same situation could be. For example, if your child believes that they are stupid in spelling, you might brainstorm other reasons for their results – such as being distracted in class or lack of commitment in studying for the tests. This is different than dismissing, because you include your child in the process of finding different beliefs. “I’m stupid in spelling” could shift to “Spelling is an area that I need to spend some more time on”.
  1. Decide – Together, decide what belief would serve them better. Look to the future, and imagine how things would be different if they choose to believe something empowering. You might say, “So if you believe spelling is just a subject that requires more effort – imagine how great you will feel during the test knowing that spending that extra time will help!”
  1. Commit – Choose a specific action that your child can take to make the new, more powerful belief even more believable! Perhaps you make a new study schedule, or decide ask the teacher for support. Maybe you come up with a fun way to learn those tricky words. Have your child come up with the options and support them to keep that commitment.


If you begin to apply these steps to create meaningful shifts in your child’s belief systems, you will notice different decisions being made, different actions being taken, and ultimately different outcomes being achieved.

Our beliefs affect our lives. Creating and believing in great ones is a simple way to experience a successful one, isn’t it?


Please share, comment below, and check this out – it’s a program that guides you to developing even more essential life skills for you and your children!





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