By A.M., IANtB Science Editor. Images by Holly Spring via Bored Panda. I wanted to share this series by Holly Spring because it illustrates so well how the narrative we create for our children about who they are matters so much. Self-perception and self-talk, formed early in childhood by the words and actions of the people around them, have been shown to have a huge effect on self-esteem, confidence, and resilience later in life. Positive self talk and imagery has been shown to improve performance on everything from sports performance to math tests. When a child has a social, intellectual, or physical challenge, parents are called to take extra care in shaping their child’s self-perception. This parent has found a creative way to help her child create a narrative for herself that is positive and life-affirming. The message that is reinforced for the child when she looks at these images is that what she can do in life is limited only by her imagination. I know we’re not all quite as artistically talented as this mother, for sure! But we can look for little, every day opportunities to foster positive self-talk and resilience in our children. These opportunities lie in moments like “floor time,” descriptive praise, encouragement, choosing our words carefully, modeling positive self talk, and giving children room to grow and explore while providing a solid “home base.” How we treat our children every day very much matters. As a side note, Holly’s daughter (the child featured in the images) was born with Hirschsprung’s disease, which results from insufficient nerve growth to the colon during fetal development. Children born with this disease sometimes have to have part of their colon removed and are prone to enterocolitis. Sounds like this little girl had a pretty rough start. Read more about Hirschsprung’s disease at Mayoclinic.org.