As much as we may forget now that we’re adults, childhood is tough. So many things are changing and for some children, it’s difficult to face the present with a bright disposition. Though we all want our kids to enjoy childhood while it lasts, negative emotions can get in the way.
Obviously, this isn’t ideal and if you want to encourage your child to choose positivity over negativity, there are a few things you can do.
Don’t Be Judgmental
Negative children don’t act the way they do for fun. Your child is expressing the way they feel about the situations in their lives, and a good way to reduce these mindsets is to avoid judgment. Empathize with your child and try to understand the source of his or her negative feelings.
Thoughts VS Reality
If your child is constantly complaining or putting themselves down, avoid waving off their statements. Instead, explore the way your child feels compared to the way things actually are. Your child might be seeking validation and they just don’t know how to ask for it. For example, if they say, “I’m never going to figure this out,” you could reassure them by explaining that the subject they’re learning is new, complicated, and takes time to master. Let them know that you believe in them.
Set A Good Example
Sometimes, children complain because they’re used to hearing the same attitudes from the adults in their lives. Examine your own words and behaviors when faced with things you’re not fond of. If you find that you’re complaining relatively often, try to correct your own thought process by taking a positive approach. Negativity is contagious, but so is positivity.
Nobody likes to be told that “other people have it worse,” when they express a negative reaction to something. However, encouraging gratitude in a positive light might help your child learn how to focus on the good aspects of a situation rather than the challenges. If, say, your child is in a bad mood because their basketball team didn’t win a game, reshape the way they experience the loss. Their team tried, they worked together, and there will be opportunities to face new opponents later.
Your child isn’t expressing negative emotions because he or she wants to be sullen. Nobody likes being in a bad mood, but it happens. However, if you find that your efforts are not making an impact, it might be worth having your child speak to a professional about how they’re feeling. A school counselor or youth therapist can be a helpful resource if your child is having trouble breaking out of a negative mindset.