Many children struggle with a negative way of thinking.
Unable to see the big picture, children can often demonstrate a negative and self-defeating way of thinking. When this occurs, parents are in an excellent position to gently guide their little Eeyore to focus on what is factual and positive in various situations. Changes may not occur overnight, but taking the time to help your child renew her thought process can have a far-reaching impact in each area of her life.
1Let your child vent her frustrations to you, expressing what she feels is unfair, impossible or wrong. Help her describe her emotions with specific words in order to put a finger on what is really bothering her.
2Identify negative thoughts with your child. Write down a list of positive words and negative words or play a game where he has to come up with a positive word for each negative word that you say. Use puppets or dolls to say the words in silly voices and make the exercise more entertaining.
3Focus on what is true when you talk through various situations instead of focusing on the child’s exaggeration. Avoid statements that begin with the words “always” and “never” and transition to words like “maybe” and “not yet.” Give the child positive things to say to herself when she is frustrated, for example, “I am smart, special, beautiful and strong,” to defeat negative thoughts. Think like Annie and sing "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow."
4Play games with your child to teach positive reactions. Say a scenario such as, “I missed my favorite television show, but …” and allow the child to think of a positive or happy consequence such as “… I went outside to play on the swing set.”
5Reward your child when he demonstrates positive thinking. Praise him for handling a difficult situation with an improved attitude. Be mindful of your own thought processes and keep your words upbeat and encouraging. Think Mary Poppins.
- Be consistent, and your little Eeyore may become a Tigger.