- How To Help Someone Be More Positive
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- Tips To Help Your Child To Develop A Positive Attitude
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How To Help Someone Be More Positive
As a parent, it is never easy to hear your child express negative thoughts or see them wallow in feelings such as self-doubt, sadness or anger.
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This negativity is usually driven by fear, doubt, or shame, which produces stress chemicals in the brain. Ultimately, a negative attitude can shape how a child sees herself and the world around her.
But as parents, there is plenty we can do to help our children develop a more positive attitude about themselves and their world.
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There are no “bad” emotions. All thoughts and feelings are valid. Positive and negative thoughts and emotions play a
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For example, sadness can help us process difficult times, and we would have no moral compass if we never felt shame or guilt.
Danish psychologist Svend Brinkmann explains that the pressure to think positively and be constantly cheerful has turned happiness into “a duty and a burden.”
In addition, trying to be happy all the time alienates us from our emotions, which is not healthy. In fact, recent psychological research shows that
According to positive psychology researcher Barbara Fredrickson, positive thinking is important because it expands your sense of possibility and opens your mind, allowing you to build new skills. Positive thinking, Fredrickson says, “expands and builds.” It also makes children (and adults) more resilient.
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Dr Barbara Fredrickson found that just six weeks of training in a form of meditation focusing on kindness and compassion led to more positive emotions, social connection, and even better health for participants in her study.
In a similar study, Dr. Richard Davidson that as little as two weeks of training in compassion and kindness meditation led to changes in brain circuitry associated with an increase in positive social behaviour, such as generosity.
Even three months after these experiments ended, the participants continued to show increased mindfulness, purpose in life, social support, and fewer symptoms of illness.
. Later, your child can expand her positive thoughts to more neutral people in her life as well. Dr. Fredrickson describes this type of meditation as
Tips To Help Your Child To Develop A Positive Attitude
The traditional four phrases are, “May you feel safe. May you feel happy. May you feel well. May you live in ease.” But the exact wording you and your child use is not important; it is about generating feelings of kindness and warmth.
To think more positively. It also shows your child how easy it is to engage in feelings of compassion and kindness, which can help her connect more easily with others and increase her overall well-being.
Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, Riverside, says, “People who participate in acts of kindness become happier over time.” When your child helps others, they will feel good about themselves as a person, which will ultimately help them feel more optimistic and positive in general.
Helping others is also linked to fostering a sense of belonging, inner peace, and gratitude. Your child could help others by helping an elderly neighbor with yard work or chores, helping a friend with homework, or participating in a canned food or clothing drive. You could also make volunteering a family affair and regularly help out with a soup kitchen or other charitable organization.
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A very young child can help you around the house, help a younger sibling pick up toys or get dressed, or even accompany you (and be a “helper”) when you help others.
Dr Fredrickson explains that positive thinking can come from recognizing and appreciating small moments of happiness and beauty. These simple moments can include laughter, a hug, a beautiful sunset, or the sound of birds singing.
“We sometimes have special moments in life. These moments are so exciting that we get goosebumps on our arms, feel pins and needles up and down our spine, tears flood our eyes, and’ n jaw drops. This is called surprise.” Sandi Schwartz at Parent.co
One practical way to work on this skill with your child is to get them to start an Awe Journal. You can also keep your own, and you and your child can discuss it weekly or daily.
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In the Awe Journal, you and your child record scenes or moments from your everyday lives that you find beautiful or extraordinary: a rainbow, an act of kindness, or even the smell of fresh cookies. Your child can record these moments with pictures, descriptions, poems, etc.
It may seem small, but writing about positive experiences can have a big impact on positive thinking. A study published in the
One group wrote about an overwhelmingly positive experience every day for just three days. The other group wrote about a management topic. Three
Dr. Fredrickson and her colleagues also suggest that goal setting helps people become more optimistic and positive thinkers with a greater sense of well-being.
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Dr. Gabriele Oettingen, Professor of Psychology at New York University and the University of Hamburg, explains that positive thinking alone does not help people reach their goals. Sometimes, she says, “Dreamers are not makers.”
For reaching their goals do not take seriously the possible disadvantages they may encounter, and ultimately they fail to achieve these goals, which could negatively affect their attitude.
Outcome – Ask your child to imagine the best outcome that could result from achieving this goal. What would this result look like? How would it feel?
Obstacle – Take wishing and visualization a practical step further by generating a list of obstacles that could prevent your child from reaching the goal. These barriers could include wanting to give up or being distracted by something, such as wanting to play with toys or check a mobile phone.
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Plan – Finally, make a plan for dealing with these obstacles if/when they occur. Ask your child to say or write sentences like me
Makes it more likely that your child will actually achieve their goals, leading to more confidence and a more positive attitude.
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One of the most powerful ways to teach your child to have a positive attitude is to MODEL this behavior for her. When you accept and process your emotions in a healthy way, you teach your child to do the same.
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You can also share positive experiences with your child. Dr Frederickson notes that “shared positivity – having two people caught in the same emotion – could have even
She suggests activities as simple as watching a funny TV show or movie and laughing together, sharing a funny joke or good news, or being physically affectionate. Anything that sparks feelings of joy, contentment and love contributes to positive thinking, especially when these emotions are shared.
Laugh with your child, hug your child, set aside time to give your undivided attention, and enjoy positive experiences together. Taking time to discuss the Awe Journals mentioned above can also be a valuable shared experience.
These moments of togetherness will deepen your bond with your child, and will increase her positivity and health, both physically and emotionally.
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Identify your child’s strengths and give her opportunities to develop them and experience success. For example, if your child has a beautiful singing voice, let her try voice lessons and perform in voice recitals. If she is an excellent soccer player, sign her up for a local team.
As your child develops skills and succeeds as a result, they will increase their confidence and develop a more positive outlook and attitude.
Likewise, trying new things can lead to greater confidence and resilience. Encourage your child to try a new sport, tool, game or activity.
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Likewise, if your child expresses an interest in a new activity, let her try it. As she enjoys or finds some success with this new activity, she will develop a more positive view of herself, her abilities, and life in general.
You can even find new activities to try with your child to increase your shared positive experiences. Sign up for a cooking class, work on a few art projects, or start rollerblading together.
Positive affirmations are belief systems rooted in universal truth. They are positive statements that children or adults can repeat to themselves to increase self-esteem, promote positive thinking, and change negative self-talk.
Affirmations are most effective if you let your child find their own. This is because of the healing power of affirmation
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