Do you want to know why a lot of us adults struggle to be able to consistently think positively? Because we were raised with the old skool notion that focusing on negitude might actually improve things. Sounds laughable today, but if you think back to your own childhood, you’ll probably agree, that too much positive thinking for kids was seen as a bad thing.
Well not anymore – thankfully! More and more parents and teachers today are recognizing the value of positive thinking for kids, and teaching them how to think in ways that improve their self-image, aptitude for learning, social attitude and overall well-being.
If you’ve got a kid-friend or two, here are 3 tips to help you model positive thinking for them, and to encourage them to think positively too :)
1. Speak in Affirmatives
What’s the difference between “I don’t want to go to school” and “I want to stay home today”? Well, you might argue not a lot, and that what we’re talking about here is nothing less than wanting to ‘play hookie’ – whichever way you slice it. And you’d be right, practically speaking. But when it comes to positive thinking, the two statements are worlds apart. Here are a few other examples worth considering …
- “I hate it when my homework takes too long,” or “I love it when I finish my homework with more time for fun!”
- I don’t want to go out in the cold,” or “I’d like to stay inside and be warm.”
- “I don’t like to play with Roger, he’s a jerk!” or “My favorite people to play with are Sam and Eddy and Jenny.”
2. Look on the Bright Side
S**t happens to all of us, but how you look at it – especially in front of kids – can make all the difference in the world. Here’s a great example – Kids spill things. Sometimes what they spill makes a heck of a mess. You’ve got a choice about how to look at it, no matter how much time it’s going to take to clean it up. You could either a). get pissed off, make a scene, shame the kid and then clean it up; b). fume a little bit, bite your tongue and clean it up; or c). think: “it could be worse, it could be a bottle of fish sauce!” Then smile and begin the clean-up.
3. Teach ’em how to Rampage
Instead of letting kids go off on a rampage of anger or a crying fit; when they’re feeling calm and happy, teach them the appreciation game. You can use crayons, markers, pencils, words, stories or animated miming. Just pick a topic and go off on a rampage, thinking of every single thing you appreciate about that person, place, thing or experience. Make it fun and the kid will learn it for life!
Have you had the chance to teach or model positive thinking for a child? What did/do you do? Leave a comment and let us know.