“This dinner sucks!”
“I hate this house!”
“I can’t do anything, I suck.”
Some children are more prone to negativity and bad moods than others. There are many different reasons children can be negative, but constant complaints and frustration can be very hard to deal with as a parent.
Read on to learn more about how to handle negative children.
Learn When to Ignore
Some kids may complain and lash out in search of attention. If you reward the attention, even with your own negative response, you are feeding into that behavior. Sometimes it pays to just ignore the bad mood and to not react to the negativity.
Consider Underlying Causes
Personality plays a role in our pessimism, but so does the environment. It’s possible your child may simply be more cranky in the morning or after school. New situations also invoke negativity in some children. Many children will be more negative when hungry or tired. If your child is consistently negative, he may need more sleep or there may be an issue going on at school that you are unaware of. The first step for dealing with negativity in kids is to address underlying needs for structure and physical wellbeing.
There are times when you need to confront your child’s negativity, telling them you’ve had enough and the subject is closed. However, in the long run, you should focus on teaching positivity.
- Guide your child to make a positive effort even if their first reaction is negative.
- Foster hobbies and interests they find enjoyable or calming.
- Practice gratitude. Try the Gratitude Jar exercise so kids can see the blessings in their lives.
- Work on deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
- Practice daily affirmations like “I am a hard worker” or “I can get through any challenge.”
- Set an example for positivity by showing love and affection. Pay attention to how you respond to challenges or frustrations.
Some kids are more negative than others, but you can still help them see the positive and limit complaining. Encourage a good attitude and positivity without trying to change your child into someone they are not.
However, if your child seems to be seriously struggling with their mood and it is impacting the family environment, it may be time to seek outside help. Extreme negativity could be a sign of depression or another mental health issue. Talk with your pediatrician about your concern to determine if a mental health professional may help.