Kayla Nelson: Nurturing Potential through Positive Words and Parenting


In a world filled with constant chatter and noise, clinical psychologist Kayla Nelson stands as a voice of reason, urging parents to be mindful of the words they choose when describing their children. With a personal story that defies the odds, Nelson emphasizes the profound impact that language has on shaping a child’s identity and future.

At the heart of her message is a poignant narrative from Nelson’s own life. At a mere 14 days old, she faced the grim prognosis of spinal meningitis, with slim chances of survival and even bleaker prospects for a healthy life. Yet, against all odds, Nelson emerged from the hospital largely unscathed, defying the dire predictions.

Reflecting on her early years, Nelson recounts how the words surrounding her near-death experience shaped the narrative of her life. Phrases like “miracle” and “angel on earth” echoed throughout her childhood, instilling in her a sense of purpose and destiny. “She is going to make a difference in this world,” they said. And she did.

Looking back, Nelson recognizes the transformative power of language in her life, driving her to make a positive impact in the world. This personal revelation serves as the foundation for her impassioned plea to parents everywhere: be careful about the words you choose when speaking about your children.

As a seasoned clinical psychologist dedicated to working with children, teens, and families, Nelson has witnessed firsthand the repercussions of negative language. In her office, she encounters children who describe themselves as “spoiled,” “out of control,” and “embarrassing.” These, she notes, are the very words parents often use to talk about their children.

Nelson underscores the importance of recognizing the language traps well-meaning parents can fall into, describing moments when mothers and fathers feel out of control, labeling themselves as “bad moms” or “failures.” Even therapists, she acknowledges, can succumb to these pitfalls, attributing negative traits like manipulation to children without delving into the underlying issues.

A recurring theme in Nelson’s message is the notion that children are not inherently manipulative; instead, they may lack essential skills, such as emotional regulation or boundary-setting. By labeling children as manipulative without understanding the root causes, parents risk perpetuating a harmful narrative that can shape a child’s self-perception.

The crux of Nelson’s argument lies in the power of choice. Parents, she asserts, have the agency to either build their children up or tear them down through the words they choose. Drawing on her own experience, she advocates for instilling a sense of purpose and destiny in children. As her parents did for her, Nelson encourages parents to speak positively, fostering a belief in their child’s ability to make a difference in the world.

In a world where conversations about the impact of words are gaining momentum, Nelson’s message resonates deeply. She reminds us that language is not only a tool for communication but a powerful force that shapes the neural networks in our brains and those of our children. By choosing positive and empowering words, parents can contribute to the development of resilient, confident, and purpose-driven individuals.

As Kayla Nelson eloquently puts it, “Let’s build our children up into being exactly who they were meant to be.” In a society where negativity can easily take root, her message serves as a rallying call for parents to be mindful architects of their children’s self-esteem, potential, and future success.