Thoughts are things. You may have heard of it several times, and also seen it to be true in many ways through your own personal experiences. Harsh and stressful thinking doesn’t just have an impact on your mental health, but physical health too, and it does so in many ways.
And it turns out, negative thinking affects kids and children just as much as they do us adults, if not more. The way children think has a major impact on how they behave as an individual, and also affects their growth and development.
Overly critical and negative thoughts can hamper a child’s self-esteem and affect his overall personality. In certain cases, negative thinking turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy, wherein the child starts to feel low and unworthy of himself. Sometimes, these thoughts may even manifest as behavioral problems later on such as temper tantrums, sibling rivalry etc.
But that’s exactly where you come in. As a parent, there’s a lot you can do to help your kids overcome and silence their negative thinking and help them develop a more positive approach towards everything. Here are 5 simple and actionable strategies to get you started.
Validate the Feelings
One of the worst mistakes you could make as a parent is to invalidate your child’s thoughts and feelings. Instead of saying “Oh! You’re fine” when he’s in emotional pain, show empathy and make it clear that you understand that he’s hurt, and it is okay for him to feel so- even if you feel his behavior is dramatic. Once your kid feels safe to disclose his feelings around you, you can move on to the next approach.
Replace the Negative with Realistic Thoughts
Right at the early stage itself, help your child develop a more realistic approach at things. If you find him saying “I can’t do anything right,” tell him “Sometimes people make mistakes, and its okay.” The most important lesson you could teach your kid if he’s being too hard on himself is to treat himself with the same kindness that he shows to others.
View Things from a Different Perspective
Encourage your kid to view the situation from a different perspective, and the best way to do this is to separate the emotion from the situation. For instance, if your kid is hurt by an event that occurred in school, ask him how would his friend behave if the same thing happened to him. Or maybe even his favorite cartoon character or superhero. This will help him understand and accept things more easily.
Encourage Positive Thinking
Encourage positive thinking in your kid at the early level itself. Whenever you find him being low or pessimistic, jump in with a suggestion about how being optimistic could help work things in his favor. Make it a bedtime routine to have your kid openly thank the universe for any 5 things that he’s grateful for- the things that he appreciates.
You can also help him understand the law of attraction and how it could help change his life.
Implement Problem Solving Together
Help your child transform his negative thoughts into a positive action. The next time he experiences negative thoughts, work together and see what positive effect or way can come out of it and what the two of you can do together to make things work in the best possible way for you. This will help him develop a confidence in himself, and he’ll also understand how to see the silver lining.
Loved our tips and tricks? Take things up a notch. Get your hands on some positive and inspiring books to help your kid develop a love for reading at the early stage, and also instill the habit of positive thinking in him too! Here are a few of our best picks for positive and motivational books for kids.