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Encouraging a Positive Attitude in Kids

Posted by Informed Families on January 21, 2022 at 7:00 AM

There’s an old joke about a young boy who wakes up Christmas morning and, instead of gifts under the tree, finds a pile of manure. Excitedly he begins shoveling through it, telling his bewildered parents, “There’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”

There are many tools we can give our children to help them succeed in life: a solid education, a healthy diet, a secure environment, a sense of self-esteem, thinking skills, and so on.

One important skill we can teach them is to maintain a positive attitude. With a positive attitude, the sky’s the limit. Optimism helps them realize they can overcome obstacles to achieve anything they want.

Such a mindset is also physically and mentally beneficial. If they don’t let difficulties stop them, they’ll have less stress and depression throughout their lives, and enjoy better overall health.

This doesn’t mean they never feel sad, frustrated, or even discouraged, but it can help keep them from feeling hopeless when they encounter the challenges life throws at them.

Five tips toward a more positive attitude

  1. Kids model their parents’ behavior. If they see you bouncing back from setbacks, they’ll learn to do the same.
  2. Help them see a way around obstacles. When something doesn’t work out as planned, encourage them to brainstorm other ways to approach the problem or to reach their goal.
  3. Let them know that negative reactions are okay when it’s appropriate. Having a positive attitude doesn’t mean burying legitimate feelings, but acknowledging them, and then finding a way to move on.
  4. Teach constructive reframing. If a child declares she’s lousy at sports, suggest that she simply needs more practice and that if excelling at sports is important to her, she’ll eventually master the necessary skills.
  5. Encourage positive self-talk. Words have power, so offer a few affirmations they can repeat until they become second nature:
  • “I am worthy of good things.”
  • “I can achieve anything I set my mind to.”
  • “There’s a way around this challenge.”
  • “Things will work out in the long run.”

For more ideas on how to foster a positive attitude in your kids, see this month’s Family Table Time kit.

Family Table Time logo

These fun activity kits arrive weekly and include everything you need to help establish lifelong rituals, habits, and traditions, all for less than a cup of coffee!

Topics: positive parenting, Family Table Time

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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