Thursday, March 8, 2012

5 Ways to Instill Positive Thinking Into Your Children

"Children are imaginative, open, inquisitive and excited about everything. Isn't it wonderful to have an audience coming to you with all that open feeling?" - Faith Ringgold

Many of us are just now learning to adopt a more positive mindset to improve the quality of our lives.  As we learn, we can pass this knowledge on to our children.  Here are five ways to do so:

Teach by example.  Our children are constantly watching us.  They see how we handle stress, loss and adversity.  The energy that we put out into the world has a huge impact on them.  There have been many times when I've caught myself speaking negatively only to catch the wide eyes of one of my babies staring right at me and taking it all in.  The best way for us to instill a positive mindset into our children is through our own actions.

Tap into their imagination.  We can really bring home the concept of positive thinking for our kids without them even realizing it - through play.  For example, when my son grows up he wants to be a comic illustrator and write graphic novels all while playing professional basketball and teaching art.  He's going to be a busy guy! :)  So, he has a journal where he draws pictures of himself playing basketball, and where he writes stories and draws characters for his novels.  This is fun for him, but it also is teaching him the idea of using visualization to bring his dreams into reality.

Provide visual inspiration.  Just as I would encourage you to surround yourself with positive affirmations and images, so should you surround your children.  Our girls especially need to believe in their own self-worth and value at a young age.  My daughter's walls are covered with prints - some that we created and colored ourselves and some that were purchased. The messages on the prints are short and sweet like "There's only one You"  "Believe in Yourself" and "Giving up is not an Option."  When she's being hard on herself, I remind her of these messages and I encourage her to repeat them to herself to drown out her doubts.

Create an atmosphere of growth.  When our children struggle with new things or a certain subject in school, this is another opportunity for us to teach them to think positively.  It's so important to create an atmosphere of growth in the home, so they understand that everyone has personal challenges that can't be avoided and that these challenges build character.  My son struggles with math, so we are all learning together to stay positive about it.  When we get frustrated, he senses it and gets down on himself.  When we tell him that we believe in him and share our own examples of times that we've struggled in school, he feels more hopeful and determined.

Surround them with positive people.  Once our children start school, we can't be with them all day or completely control who they associate with.  However, they see who we choose to spend our time with and how we interact with them, so we must choose wisely.  When my children tell me that one of their "friends" is calling them names and being mean, I ask them to consider if this person is really their friend if they are constantly trying to bring them down.  Often, these same kids are engaging in other troublesome behavior that should be avoided.  Our kids have to learn these things on their own, but we can teach them to look for red flags and make wise decisions.

How do you instill a resilient, positive mindset into your children?


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Thank you, I really want to bring out the best in my son and I realize that he is watching me. I must be is example for positive thinking. This should really help.

Thanks again

GG said...

Im glad this is helpful, Brandy! All we can do is love them up & give our best effort. So much of parenting is trial & error but I'm finding that staying positive makes us all feel better even when times are hard.

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