Parenting Guide

Parenting Guide

Self-Talk and the Inner Voice

Promoting Calm and Confidence

“It’s like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.”


  • What Are Self-Talk and the Inner Voice?

    You’re probably very familiar with your own inner voice, but how does your child’s inner voice develop? It comes from you. Your words and tone become the inner voice your child hears when she talks to herself. You can help nurture a positive inner voice that promotes self-regulation and confidence in your child by modeling…

  • Benefits of Self-Talk

    Self-talk can be helpful for a wide variety of situations. For instance: • Planning: If you say, “You can have a cupcake after dinner,” your child will tell herself, “First dinner, then a cupcake.” • Self-Guidance: If you’re calm about your own mistakes and say, “I can try again,” your child will learn it’s okay…

  • Labeling Feelings

    Using self-talk to teach your child how to label feelings helps her connect her feelings with words. This helps her better understand and express her emotions and experiences. You can play a matching game with your child by showing her pictures of various feelings and matching the facial expressions with the feeling states (happy, sad,…

  • Resources for Further Reading

    Gopnik, A., Meltzoff, A. N., & Kuhl, P. (2000). The scientist in the crib: What early learning tells us about the mind. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.

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