Helping Children Develop a Positive Attitude
Repetition teaches everything with children….and even with ourselves. If children are exposed to negative thinking adults, they learn quickly that is a way to live in their own lives. And the opposite is true. Positive thinking adults bring positive thinking possibilities into a feasible reality for children. What we repeat to ourselves and are exposed to in our environment can become a reality because it seems ‘normal.’
Six year old Mara was dismayed with the rain and not being able to go to the park to play. Stuck in the image of not being able to do what she had planned on, Mara’s mood reflected continually repeating thoughts about not being able to do the fun park excursion.
Problem solving is part of developing a positive attitude. When only one angle is used to view a situation, it is easy to feel trapped and feel discouraged. What can be done to help a child move through the negative mood or attitude to feeling more positive and create a good experience in her day? The feeling of creating something new can replace and transform negativity immediately. It is not just changing our thoughts.
When we create, we move energy and feel empowered. Mara’s state of being and staying dismayed indicates a feeling of being stuck and trapped with no ‘out.’ It is as if the stuck feeling/mood is the only reality that exists. The adult role is to expand what is possible and not feed the negative reality.
As a caring adult in the presence of Mara during this experience, there are a variety of things that can be said or suggested.
First, use a positive, welcoming tone with your voice. Avoid a reprimanding tone.
FEEL excited. That energy is contagious. Move the attention from the negative to a positive.
Ask a question to get Mara involved: “Mara, since it’s raining and a good day to do something indoors, what is something you’d like to do that would be really fun?
Mara, what do you think your friend Jenn would want to do when it’s raining and not good to go outside?
I was thinking about baking some cookies. Would you like to crack the eggs and stir the ingredients for me?
Mara, if I couldn’t do something I wanted to do and was disappointed, do you think it would bea good idea for me to stay in a bad mood all day? How would I change my mood or attitude?
Put on some music that the child likes that has an uplifting feeling.
Get some artwork supplies out and draw/color/paint your feelings about not going to the park because and invite Mara to do artwork with you. Then do artwork showing yourselves feeling happy with positive thoughts and doing a fun activity that brings a good feeling.
It is just a matter of moving stuck energy. Helping your child will help you to do the same when you are faced with being stuck and negative. Enjoy the creative freedom and reap its benefits! Children who are gifted with this gain a lifetime skill that gives them many opportunities to transform negatives into positives!