Positive Beliefs for Children
And their parents!
It’s a beautiful thing…..
The beautiful thing about children is that they so willingly accept what they hear and believe it. The goal of this book is to help you to consciously provide your child with a solid foundation of important beliefs. The beautiful thing about you is that you were once a child willing to absorb the beliefs of those who raised you. Perhaps your parents overlooked a few of these wonderful beliefs as you grew up!
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up…. Pablo Picasso
A little help
Story One I'm a Fast Learner
Michelle Kato was a cheerful child with an easy smile. She even knew how to ask a question with a smile.
“Do you have any pets?” asked Michelle. “Yes, we have a kitty named Cotton Ball,” answered Katelyn. “We named her that because her feet look like a ball of cotton.”
“Does Cotton Ball like her new home?” Michelle knew all about cats because she had two of them herself. She said, “Some cats can be fussy, you know.”
Michelle, a friendly six-year-old Japanese American with beautiful black hair down to her shoulders, was talking with her new neighbor, Katelyn Johnson, who had just moved from California to Washington state. Katelyn had stopped by Michelle‟s house for a few minutes before school.
Katelyn said, “My kitty is acting a little confused right now. She used to sleep on my bed at night but now I don‟t know where she sleeps. I miss hearing her purr when she snuggles up close to my ear.”
“Maybe she‟s in a closet,” said Michelle. “Look, here‟s our cat, Little Claw. She likes to sit on my dresser next to all of our family pictures. Other times, she sits right here on this big chair.” Sure enough, Little Claw was sitting on a big purple chair taking a cat nap. “She also likes to look out the window at the squirrels and birds.”
“I‟ll look for her in my closet,” said Katelyn. She already liked Michelle and was glad to have someone she could talk to in her new neighborhood. “Michelle,” she asked, “why is your cat named Little Claw? That‟s a funny name.”
“We named her that when she was a kitten,” Michelle answered. “She used to like to claw the furniture. Oh Katelyn, we’d better hurry outside to catch the school bus!”
Four weeks of school passed quickly and Michelle and Katelyn were becoming good friends. It was now late Saturday morning, and Michelle and her dad, Mr. Kato, were preparing to pick up Katelyn for a trip to the beach.
As they were gathering their things, Mr. Kato said “Michelle, I‟ve decided to write a children‟s story and I need your help.”
“Why do you need my help? What‟s it going to be about?” asked Michelle. Mr. Kato said “It‟s going to be about problem beliefs.” She shook her head and asked her dad, “What are those?”
Mr. Kato explained: “A problem belief is something you came to believe about yourself that really isn‟t true.”
“How can you believe something about yourself that isn‟t true?” asked Michelle.
“Well, here‟s one way it can happen. Pretend for a moment that you are playing in your room with a new set of building toys. You have just finished building a miniature bridge for toy cars. Wow, you think to yourself. I have just figured out how to do something I‟ve never done before!”
Mr. Kato continued, “All of a sudden, there is a knock at the door. No, make that two knocks. Knock knock.”
“Who‟s there?” asked Michelle, playing along with the story.
“It‟s your friend Jim, can I come in? What do you say? Ok. Just then, you accidentally knock over the bridge. All Jim sees when he comes in are the pieces all over the place. All he sees is a big mess.”
“Is that the same bridge you were working on yesterday?” asks Jim. “Boy, you are a slow learner.” Mr. Kato frowned a very big frown as he said the words „slow learner‟ to show Michelle that this would be a very bad belief.
Mr. Kato waved his hand at the imaginary pile on the floor. “Michelle,” he continued, “this mess happened because you were startled when your friend Jim came in. It‟s not because you were a slow learner.
“The truth,” he continued “is that in this make-believe story you had
learned very quickly how to build a bridge. As a matter of fact, what you learned could even help you become someone who designs a drawbridge for a train when you grow up. That’s the truth.”
“Then how does ‘I am a slow learner’ become a belief?” asked Michelle.
“Well,” said Mr. Kato, “if your friend says “You are a slow learner‟ when you were feeling startled, it might become a belief. You know how we store ketchup in the cupboard? We all store memories, too, both good and bad. Think about it this way: When we need ketchup, we take a bottle out of the cupboard and use it, right? But what if it was bad ketchup? Would you want to use bad ketchup?
No way!” Michelle made a face as though she was tasting bad ketchup.
Mr. Kato continued, “In our make-believe story, the belief that goes into your cupboard is “I’m a slow learner.‟ The next time you have to learn something, what belief is going to come out of the cupboard for you to use? “I’m a slow learner.‟ The more you say it to yourself the stronger it becomes.”
Michelle was quiet for a moment as she thought about what her dad had said. Then she said, “Daddy, it would be a lot better if you wrote about a bunch of good beliefs instead of problem beliefs. I‟d rather grow up with a bunch of good ones. We could call them Chocolate Chip Beliefs, because they are the real good kind.”
“That‟s a great idea,” said her dad. “What would be a good Chocolate Chip Belief?”
I'm a Fast Learner! I believe in me!
“How about I am a fast learner? That would be a good belief,” said Michelle.
“You’re right, that is a really good belief, Michelle. And you know what? If you say it to yourself over and over and day after day, it becomes your new belief. But right now we‟d better get going. Katelyn will be waiting for us.”
“Dad, you said that you need my help. Did I help you?”
“Yes”, he replied, “you just created Chocolate Chip Beliefs! Thank you.”
Making a New Belief Repeat "I'm a Fast Learner" day after day!
A few minutes later, Katelyn was running from her house to their car. She lived in the most colorful house in the neighborhood. Her bedroom was upstairs and you could see it from the car because it had an odd- shaped window that looked like it belonged on a ship.
“Hi Katelyn,” said both Michelle and her dad at the same time. “How are you?”
“Ok,” said Katelyn.
“Just ok?” asked Mr. Kato. “Why not great?”
As Katelyn got into the back seat and fastened her seat belt, she said, “I’m going to be in a play tonight and I have to do a little dance. I haven’t learned my dance steps yet. I guess I’m kind of a slow learner.”
Michelle and her dad looked at one another but didn’t say a word.
There was a really fun beach park nearby that Michelle and her dad liked to visit because there were so many things to do. You could play on the big lawn, you could play on the playground, and you could play on the driftwood logs lying on the beach. It was also a good place to watch the ferries as they crossed the bay. Since Katelyn had never been to the park, Michelle decided to let her choose what to do. She followed Katelyn to the playground.
Both children began playing by climbing and sliding down the bright red slides. Katelyn jumped up and grabbed the “spinner” bar, hanging in mid-air waiting for someone to spin her around.
From atop the play set, Katelyn noticed the driftwood logs scattered along the beach. She shouted, “Michelle, can we play on those logs?”
Michelle said, “I was hoping you would want to play on the logs. That’s my favorite thing to do here.”
Michelle had discovered that it was possible to walk on top of these logs, from one log to another, and get from one side of the beach to the other without having to step down into the sand. However, it did take a little practice.
Michelle, as was usual for her, stepped up onto a log and said “Let’s go to the other side.” With a hop and a skip, she was already halfway down the first log.
Katelyn, who was standing next to Mr. Kato, said “I’ve never walked on logs before, I don’t know if I can do it.” She stepped up onto the first log and took a few steps. “Look, I’m doing it!” Indeed, it looked as though she was getting the hang of it when she lost her balance. “Whoa!” she screamed as she jumped into the soft sand. She giggled and got back up again.
Michelle’s dad decided that Katelyn would be able to follow him, so he took off after Michelle. He caught up with her and the two of them scooted quickly from log to log, laughing along the way. They stepped from the end of one log to the beginning of another. This was a game they had played many times before.
Back at the very first log, Katelyn was having trouble. She was going every way but straight. She lost her balance to the left. She lost her balance to the right. She wasn’t even able to stand still. Finally, she broke down. “I can’t do this,” she thought to herself. She started to feel left out.
“Katelyn!” Mr. Kato called in a voice loud enough to startle her. “What’s the matter?”
It looked like tears were forming in her eyes as she said “It looks so simple. Why can’t I do it? I can’t seem to learn my dance for the play, either. I guess I’m just a slow learner.”
Michelle sat down next to her friend and said, “That’s not true, Katelyn. It’s just a problem belief.” Michelle put an arm around Katelyn’s shoulder.
“What do you mean?” asked Katelyn.
“A problem belief” continued Michelle, “is something you start to believe about yourself that isn’t true. Daddy, let’s teach her our first Chocolate Chip Belief. Katelyn, I just made up a good belief called I am a fast learner right before we picked you up. Why don’t you show her, Daddy?”
“Ok,” said Mr. Kato, “this is easy to do but let’s do it in steps. Learning is easy if you do it in steps.”
Mr. Kato gently took Katelyn’s hand and had her stand up on the log. “You see, Katelyn, people learn to do things in different ways. Not just walking on logs, but everything we do. You can, for instance, read about walking on logs, you can look at pictures of people walking on logs or you can look at a video.
However you learn best, it a good idea to learn step by step. Maybe you just need to slow down.”
He held her hand as she took a step. “That’s great,” he yelled. “Good job!” It is always nice to hear someone tell you that you are doing a good job, so Katelyn took a deep breath and relaxed. Mr. Kato continued, “It’s only one step but once you take it you can keep moving forward. Let’s take another baby step.” Katelyn took another step. “You’re learning fast, Katelyn. Say to yourself I am a fast learner, I am a fast learner, I am a fast learner.”
“I am a fast learner, I am a fast learner, I am a fast learner,” said Katelyn.
Katelyn let go of Mr. Kato’s hand and walked to the end of the log. She turned and smiled a big smile. Michelle was happy to see her friend smiling again. Katelyn then stepped gracefully onto the next log. They all clapped. Then she jumped down.
“Great job, Katelyn. Keep saying I am a fast learner. It works like magic. It becomes your new belief!”
Michelle said, “A Chocolate Chip Belief.”
The ferry was now coming close and the ferry horn went BEEEEEP, beep beep.
Mr. Kato said, “It’s almost lunch time. I can tell because the ferry’s here. We need to get Katelyn back home.”
Katelyn, with a huge smile, said “ I want to do it again.”
“Do what?” asked Michelle.
“You know,” answered Katelyn, “walk on the logs by myself. I think I can do it now.” Katelyn stepped onto the same log that had given her trouble. She walked to the end of it again. “Yahoo, I’m doing it!” She kept going onto log number two, moving a little faster, and soon jumped off the end of log number three. She didn’t fall once! She yelled again, “YAHOO, I DID IT!” She was so happy that she did a twirl on the sand that was just like a ballerina’s dance step.
She shouted “I am a fast learner. See, I even remembered my dance step! Yay, I’m going to be ok in the play tonight.”
Mr. Kato and Michelle clapped in glee.
All three skipped back to the car for the drive home. As they were driving, Katelyn asked Mr. Kato, “Does this mean I can be the best log hopper in the world if I believe it?”
“No,” he answered, but it does mean that you can be the best log hopper that Katelyn can be. More importantly, this Chocolate Chip Belief will help you to learn everything you want to learn faster.”
“Michelle,” said Mr. Kato. “Thank you for helping me again.”
Michelle had helped her Dad to teach Katelyn a Chocolate Chip Belief. She said, “You’re welcome.”
The End of Story One Let this become your belief!
We simply grow taller…..
You can understand and relate to most people better if you look at them as if they are children, for most of us never really grow up or mature all that much; we simply grow taller….. Leo Rosten
Story Two My Feelings are Important
“Mommy,” asked Katelyn Johnson, “did you ever want to be a firefighter?” Katelyn and her mother were down at the waterfront where they were waiting to meet Mr. Kato, who was bringing Michelle and Katelyn’s older brother Devan. They were all here to see where Mrs. Johnson worked in her new job at the marina.
“Not really, Katelyn,” answered Mrs. Johnson, “but it looks like it would be a fun job. Why do you ask?”
“Because maybe if there was a firefighter job in California and you were a firefighter, we could have stayed there instead of moving here.”
As they were talking they were also watching the firefighters do what they call “blowing the hoses.” This is something they do once a month to make sure that the hoses and water pumps are working properly. One firefighter was way up in the air on a ladder.
“Do you miss California and your friends, honey?” Mrs. Johnson asked Katelyn.
“I miss my friends.” Katelyn thought for a moment. “And my bedroom in our old house. I miss my school. I miss having lots of friends.”
“I see,” said Mrs. Johnson.
Right at that moment, another hose started squirting. There was something funny about it. “Look Mom, it looks like he has a tail!” said Katelyn.
Sure enough, the fireman was sitting right on the hose and it looked like a tail. Water was spraying into the sun and was very pretty. There was also a slight breeze, so some of the spray was getting them wet. Mrs. Johnson, a tall woman with short red curly hair, felt the spray from the hoses. “Oh my gosh, my hair is going to curl up!” Giggling,
Mrs. Johnson grabbed Katelyn’s hand and they crossed the parking lot where it was drier.
Then she said, “Katelyn, why didn’t you tell me this before? Have you been feeling sad?”
“Sort of. I really miss California and my friends,” said Katelyn. “You’ve been so busy in your new job and I didn’t want to tell you.”
“You’re right, Katelyn. I have been busy in my job, but I still care very much about your feelings. We just made a very big change in our lives and your feelings about it are very important.”
As they were talking they were also walking through the parking lot. They could see a bunch of fire trucks all lined up in a row.
Mrs. Johnson continued, “You know, honey, when I grew up my parents didn’t know how important feelings were, so when I was a child I kept them all bottled up.”
“Like a jar of pickles?” asked Katelyn.
“Yeah, like a jar of pickles. Very sour pickles. If you keep your feelings bottled up instead of talking about them, they get very sour. They can even make you ill. Your feelings matter and it’s good to talk about them out loud.”
They continued walking. Katelyn was feeling better now that her mom knew how she felt. “It feels good to know that my feelings are important,” she said.
Mrs. Johnson said, “My feelings are important“. Katelyn, isn’t that what your friend Michelle calls a Chocolate Chip Belief?”
* * *
On the other side of the marina, Mr. Kato was saying, “Ten minutes. We have ten minutes before we are supposed to meet your mom and Katelyn.” He was talking to both Devan and Michelle. “She’s not my mom,” said Michelle, correcting her dad.
My Feelings are Important! I make friends easily.
Devan, a boy of average height, brown eyes and light brown hair, said, “We still have time to go out on the pier!”
“Come on, Dad, we have time,” said Michelle. “Ok,” said Mr. Kato, “the pier is shaped like an upside down L. You can walk to where the two sides of the L meet.”
Michelle and Devan couldn’t hold back. They moved quickly down the pier, looked around and then hurried back to meet Mr. Kato. Then they started walking through the boatyard toward their meeting place.
Mr. Kato said, “Devan, you started to say something about Katelyn a minute ago. What was it?”
Devan replied, “Katelyn told me that Michelle is the only friend she has. She’s been having a hard time making new friends.”
“How are you doing at making friends, Devan?” asked Mr. Kato.
“I think it’s easier for me to make friends. But still, I don’t know why we had to move here just so our mom could get a stupid job.”
“Yeah,” said Mr. Kato, I might be feeling a little mad if I were you.”
Devan said, “I’m feeling mad because my sister is feeling sad.” Devan was a year and a half older than Katelyn and felt very protective of his little sister. He continued, “Back home, Katelyn was used to being a leader on all her teams. Now she doesn’t feel like she belongs. That makes me mad.”
Now they were almost to the office where Mrs. Johnson worked.
“Congratulations, Devan,” said Mr. Kato.
“For expressing your feelings,” continued Mr. Kato. “When you are feeling angry, or feeling sad, or even when you are feeling
happy, it is important to talk about your feelings. You see, feelings are important but you need to talk about them.”
Michelle, who had been walking quietly, said “We could make that a new Chocolate Chip Belief about feelings!”
“Good idea,” said Mr. Kato. “Like what?”
“How about this?” Michelle responded, “My feelings are important!”
Just then they walked up to a building called the Port Authority. Mrs. Johnson and Katelyn just about jumped out of the front door of the colorful building with big smiles on their faces.
Mrs. Johnson said, “Hi, Devan, hi Michelle, hi Mr. Kato. I’m so glad to see you. Let me show you around. Thank you so much, Mr. Kato, for agreeing to pick up Devan.” She looked out at rows of boats that were each neatly parked in their own stalls. “There’s so much to show you. Let’s start here,” she said.
“Look at all of the beautiful boats,” she said. “One of our jobs here at the marina is to provide a safe place for the boat owners to keep their boats. That’s why we have these locking gates. Only the people who have boats in our port can go down the ramp and get on the boats.”
“Devan, look at that,” said Katelyn, as she pointed towards a boat riding on a forklift. “What are they doing, Mom?”
Mrs. Johnson answered, “When someone who keeps their boat in the boat rack wants to go for a ride, we carry it on a forklift to the boat lift and lower it into the water for them.”
“Whoa! That’s neat,” said Michelle. “Maybe the owner is going fishing.”
“That’s possible,” said Mrs. Johnson proudly, “or perhaps he or she is just going for a ride.”
The children were fascinated by the big forklift that moved the boats in and out of storage. Michelle’s dad said, “I can see why you moved all the way from California for this job. It looks like a lot of fun.”
My Feelings are Important! I make friends easily.
“Hey, you kids,” said Mr. Kato, “Mrs. Johnson doesn’t know it but she is teaching you how important it is to do something you love when you grow up. See how happy she is?”
“I am,” she replied. “For the first time in my life, I love my job.”
“Are you feeling glad, Mom?” Devan asked. “All your feelings are important, too!”
“Why, thank you Devan, you sweetheart.” Then she did something she had never done before. She completely surprised her kids. She yelled, as loud as she could, “YAHOOOOO!”
Everybody laughed. “Gee Mom, you’re funny,” said Katelyn. Then she turned to Devan. She wanted him to know that she could make up an important Chocolate Chip Belief, too. “Guess what, we made up a new Chocolate Chip Belief about feelings.”
Yahoo! Everyone was happy!
“You’re kidding,” said Michelle and Devan at the same time. They both had that kind of smile that says to everybody “we have a little secret.”
“What’s so funny?” asked Katelyn?
“We know what your Chocolate Chip Belief is,” said Devan excitedly. He started to say it.
“Wait!” shouted Michelle. Let’s all say it at the same time. If Katelyn and Mrs. Johnson have the same Chocolate Chip Belief as we do, then let’s all yell Yahoo. Ok, on three. One, two, three.”
They all said: “My feelings are important!” Their words were very loud. Two adults and three children had just yelled at the top of their lungs. Then there was another yell.
“Hey kids,” said Mrs. Johnson, “who wants to go down the ramp to see a kayak?”
Michelle said, “Cool, I saw that ramp before and was hoping we could down and see the kayaks.” Mrs. Johnson had a key and opened a gate. They all looked down the ramp and, one by one, everyone headed down.
They all began saying: “My feelings are important. My feelings are important. My feelings are important.”
After looking around, they headed back up the ramp. They were all feeling better. Devan had expressed his anger. Katelyn had expressed her sadness. Mrs. Johnson had expressed her happiness. Mr. Kato and Michelle were feeling grateful to have been a part of an important moment for the Johnson family.
In addition, they all had a new Chocolate Chip Belief. My Feelings are Important!
(Note: Feel free to create your own version of these statements. For instance: My feelings are important and I have a right to express them!)
Note: Always, always accompany your child when on the playground or around water.
The End of Story Two! Let this become your belief!
From the author, Wes Carlson
First of all, a disclaimer. While I earned a California Secondary Teaching Credential with a major in History and a minor in Psychology many years ago, the focus of my career has been on entrepreneurship and upon developing a national business in the competitive trade show industry. I’m a business person in a creative field. I am not an “expert” in child psychology.
I am, however, well versed in the importance of our personal beliefs as it relates to life experience as well as the negative emotions that can result from negative beliefs about ourselves and about our capabilities. Many times I’ve run up against my self imposed walls when it comes to earning more money, deserving, a willingness to step into new and uncomfortable arenas… and other issues, and have spent considerable time working with hypnosis, the Emotional Freedom Technique (Google “Gary Craig”) and other techniques in order to create new patterns of thought.
One thing became clear. It takes more effort to tweak out-of-whack beliefs as an adult than to start out with a positive foundation.
As I became a parent, I did my best to provide my child with a better set of beliefs about self than those that I had developed at a young age. Chocolate Chip Beliefs is the result of these efforts and is about creating positive futures.
This book is being offered online free of charge. A printed version is no longer available. Feel free to download it. My hope is that it’ll help one parent and their child. If you are reading this it means that you somehow managed to stumble upon Chocolate Chip Beliefs. Do you believe in serendipity?
If so, smile and yell YAHOO!
Chocolate Chip Beliefs, © 2022. All rights reserved.