How to Help Your Child Have a Positive Outlook
Updated: Jul 9
“I hate Mondays!”
“I don’t like so-and-so.”
“That is terrible!”
We’ve heard all these before. Complaining seems to be a regular part of everyday life, but the more children complain, the more negative their outlook will be. It is important to instill a positive attitude in young children, because it will help them understand and deal with their obstacles better — a valuable quality that cannot be taken away from them throughout their lives.
Be Their Sunshine
Dr. Maria Montessori coined the term “The Absorbent Mind” because she observed that children are like sponges, and this is very true. Children tend to copy what adults in their environment say and do, so if an adult in their life reacts negatively to situations, the child will most likely act the same way. Think about how you react when your car battery dies as you are about to leave for work, or when you can’t find parking at the mall on a busy Saturday. If you, as an adult in a child’s life, handle your own challenges in a positive manner, then the child will do the same.
Try to Understand What They Really Mean
They might talk about hating something — and yes, you should acknowledge their frustration — but you should also delve into these a little more. Children are still understanding the meanings of words, and “hate” might be the strongest word they can use to show their frustration. But what does “hate” really mean?
Did your child say they hate math? They most likely just need help with their subtraction. Did your child say they don’t like their classmate? Maybe they just haven’t found something they have in common yet. Figuring out what your child really means can help fight those negative feelings and ease their frustrations.
Teach Them to Consider Both Good and Bad
Every situation has a good and a bad side, and making sure your child considers both is helpful. A fight with a friend can definitely put your child in a bad mood, but they should also see this as an opportunity to gain new friends.
If there is something specific about a classmate that your child dislikes, you should ask your child to also look at the different sides of this classmate. The classmate might not be good in math, but excellent at spelling. The classmate might be a little talkative, but is also very helpful. Teach your child to accept others’ faults and understand that everyone is unique: we all have weaknesses, and we definitely all have strengths that anyone can appreciate.
Looking for good things in negative situations can be challenging, but it is a practice that is not only beneficial now, but also helpful in the future.