Positive thinking has become a widely used to term, but what does it mean and how can we put it into action? Positive thinking is how you view an event in your life either positive or negative. Of course we should all be prepared for the not so good times, but how should we handle them or think about them when they do appear?
For some people creating a positive spin on a negative situation can seem natural, and these people tend to be optimistic people. This definitely does not come naturally to all people. It is even more worrying when it doesn’t come naturally to children.
When something bad happens there is more than one way it can be approached or thought about. Throughout my teaching career I have had many parents ask for help over their child’s negative thinking patterns.
Our thinking takes practise. Whether your child self-blames when something goes wrong, or consistently blames others and doesn’t look at themselves, we need to teach them to have more of a balanced and realistic view of the situation. This is so it doesn’t lead to a feeling of helplessness or depression.
If this is something you have noticed that your child does there are 4 simple ways you can correct them.
1. Be a Positive Role-model:
According to Martin Seligman author and founder of positive psychology, children develop their sense of thinking, either positive or negative, from the adults that care for them (teachers, parents and other family members). They use the style they see in the adults in their lives to develop their own way of thinking. If we start to correct the way we self-blame when things aren’t all our fault or blaming others when the blame should be shared then this will send a good example to the child.
2. Guide their thinking:
Correct them when they blame their character or something that they can’t change. We want to create a thinking that when something bad happens, they know they have the power to change it. If they start blaming themselves for being ‘dumb’ or ‘no talent’ we need to correct this. If they say ‘I’m dumb, I didn’t get a good mark.’ Ask, ‘Did you study for it?’ Make sure they understand that this problem is changeable.
3. Be realistic:
Ask the child to list possible reasons for the issue or situation. Children (and adults) will either blame themselves wholly for the incident or someone else. Make sure they go through all possible reasonable explanations for the issue.
4. Take Action:
Work on ways to change what’s upsetting them. If it’s their friendships, work on social skills. If it’s their grades, work with them to improve them. Children need to understand that they have control over their situations.