Positive and forward thinking is one of the key elements of strong character. However, sometimes, kids’ thought processes get impacted due to several external factors such as too much of online games of aggression, poor relationship of parents, stressful home environment due to financial crisis or routine brawls. This article provides 17 Recommendation to Manage Negative Thinking In Kids.
17 Recommendation to Manage Negative Thinking In Kids
So, How do I help my child with negative thoughts? Below are some important recommendations on how you can help your kids improve their thinking skills.
1- Read Quality Quotes Together
Encourage them to read quality quotes and articles. You may want to download some apps on your mobile and set aside 5 minutes every day to review 2-3 quotes from different categories of life, such as, confidence, care, great human being, success, optimism and so on.
2- Ask Situational Questions for Training Purpose
Ask some situational questions and let your kids think of possible answers. For example, what would you do if you want to call me (while I am at work) but the mobile is not charged and the home electricity is cut off. Another example, what if mama is sick, what would you do? These kinds of questions will ignite their thinking muscles to work and come up with some answers. Regardless of what answer they provide you, never provide negative feedback. Instead agree to them up to the maximum level and provide your further guidance. With a little bit of practice, their thinking patterns will become more mature.
3- Share Short Stories
Tell them short stories which have some morals towards the end. However do not tell them the moral of the story, instead ask them to explain what is the lesson in this story. Let them think and explain in their own way. Later elaborate them further with more details that you have in your mind. Next time, before you start another story, ask them to repeat what they learnt in the previous one. This practice is important as it will help refresh the concepts or morals they learnt. Also this repetition session will improve their apprehension and communication skills
4- Encourage Enhanced Observation
Encourage your children to observe a lot of things when outside home. Remember the principle, See More Be More. Which means, the more they see, the more they become. When you reach back home, ask them to explain what they observed.
5- Take Actions Based on Quality of Thinking
Keep auditing the quality of their thinking process. If they complain a lot, if they provide negative feedback about something or if they criticize people or things, consider it as an early sign of a shortcoming of their personality. Find out the reasons for their negative behavior such as negativity in your own behavior during your routine interaction, a negative close friend, getting bullied at school or a tough sibling. When you know the reason, start working to fix the issues. During the ‘improvement stage, do not react to their negative behavior, instead increase the dose of positivity by giving them more love, care and attention.
6-Do not Compare
Do not compare your children with anyone else and never talk to your children in a way that leads them to think that his/her parents are comparing him/her with someone else. If this thought stays with them for longer duration, it would lead to inferiority complex. That means your kid will think that someone is better than him/her in the eyes of his/her parents.
7- Manage Their ‘Financial’ Thoughts Well
If you are a poor parent, do not let your kid develop a feeling of being poor. Let him/her know that money’s not everything. Let him/her know that there are millions of kids out there in the world that do not have food, clothes and shelter. This kind of discussion should lead to a feeling of gratitude. Talk to them about health issues, loss of parent issues and other challenges and encourage them to think about such kids instead of comparing them with rich students.
8- Develop High Self Esteem
Work on developing their self esteem. Self Esteem is about positive or negative self assessment. Your kids should have high self-esteem. Which means they should think high of themselves. They should have a can-do attitude towards their chores. They should have a strong and assertive personality in terms of speaking and actions. You may want to google further on how to develop high self esteem in kids.
9- Promote Attitude of Gratitude
As mentioned earlier, help them to practice the habit of gratitude. Minimize the complaining, criticizing and blaming attitude that your kids may have. Whenever a negative comment is spoken by them, divert the discussion by looking at the positive side of the issue.
10- Build and Use Positive Vocabulary
Prepare a list of positive and optimistic words. It’s quite easy to find on google. Print them and read them often. Such words should be spoken quite frequently at your home because positive vocabulary results in positive thinking skills. Here is one sample:
11- Pay Attention To What They Speak
Pay Attention to what they speak, how they behave and what they do. Read their body language and identify any germs of negativity they have. Discuss with your partner on how to address the situation. If both of you do not have a solution specific to the situation, google it! There are hundreds of resources, portals, think tanks on the internet that should have provided the answers to your situation. If nothing is found, go ahead and post a question on Quora under dedicated space about parenting.
12- Don’t React Right Away
If your child is speaking or behaving negatively, do not react on the spot. This may exploit the situation. If one of the parties is hyper or negative, the other party has to maintain the anger. If both parties speak the same hyper language, the situation will get worse. So if you observe the kid demonstrating any negative emotions verbally or physically, try to calm down the situation with minimal guidance. Later, think about it, discuss with your spouse, make a plan on how to speak to your kid when his anger is gone.
The best time to speak to any kid is when they are about to sleep. You may want to sit next to their pillow, move your fingers in their hair and speak about the issue gently. This should produce better results for both of you.
13- Use Indirect Communication
No, I don’t suggest asking someone else to teach your kid as this will further increase the gap between you and your kids. What I mean is to provide them indirect guidance. For example, if your kid plays too many online games involving aggression, you may tell him (when he is NOT playing the game) that you have read somewhere that online games cause vision issues or cause headaches or make people reactive so kids should play less games. Do not lecture your kids, instead share these guidance in small bites.
One lecture of 5 minutes may cause loss of interest however 5 small bites (30 seconds each) of information at different time intervals will work as 5 small seeds which may take some time to nurture/nourish but would produce effective results.
14- Have Fun !
Quality time spent with children always causes a positive impact on their psychology. Remember, it should be quality time from their perspective. You have to plan it a way so that they enjoy time with you and vice versa. If only you are enjoying your time with them but they are not, then good results cannot be expected.
15- Share Your Life Stories
Share life events with your kids and try to give them a direct or indirect message associated with day-to-day small events of your life. This can be something that happened to you at work, park, metro station, mall or anywhere. The intention is to develop a positive relationship with your kid and enhance positive thoughts in their tiny brain. So whatever you say, your end statement should be based on positivity/optimism.
16- Develop Listening Skills
Yes, listening is a skill. I know many people who are bad listeners. They cut you in the middle of your talk. If the same behavior is practiced with kids, it will ruin their self esteem which will lead to negative thinking and would result in weaker personality. While you practice listening skills with your kids, let them learn the same from you.
17- Help To Socialize
Kids learn from each other. If they socialize in a positive environment, their thinking process will evolve. Encourage them to collaborate on different projects. Take them to their friends’ home on the weekend, plan outdoor activities, get them enrolled in a sports club and so on. Encourage divergent thinking. 17 Recommendation to Manage Negative Thinking In Kids
Parenting is a lifetime activity. However, it is not something that should be taken too seriously. Kids are great creatures of God due to their innocence, unconditional love, cuteness and purity of heart. Hence, while you work on these recommendations, maintain a lovely relationship with them. Remember to enjoy more and teach less so that parenting span becomes the best and blessed part of your life.
And by the way, here is a recommended article: How to Talk to Your Kids About Their Mental Health – CNET