Did you know positive self-talk can uplift our mood, give us a confidence boost, and provide the motivation we need to push ourselves at work?
The same goes for our kids. While negative self-talk can demotivate and wear them down, positive thinking can help them see themselves in a reassuring, kind, and more optimistic way.
According to the latest studies, the inner voice in our head is far more important than we think as it plays a pivotal role in developing our attitude towards everything.
For instance, it can be the difference between saying to ourselves, “Only someone like me could fail this math test,” versus “I was expecting more, but I’ll talk to my teacher and study better next time.”
The way we self-talk is the key to developing a positive mindset.
If you want to encourage your children to keep their inner monologue positive, try these three effective strategies recommended by our team of experts at Therapy Tree.
1. Discuss the Benefits of Positive Self Talk
Since kids, especially teens, may be skeptical at first about why they should change their thinking, you should be open to discuss what self-talk is and how it helps.
So just as we’ve explained to you how positive self-talk helps us develop a positive mindset, explain the same to your kids. We recommend:
- Practicing self-talk out loud
- Reading self-help resources online together and discussing them afterward
While saying your thoughts out loud can feel silly at times, it’s still the best way to get started. That’s because controlling silent thinking starts by saying those thoughts out loud first. Your goal is to help your child understand that.
2. Teach How to Turn Negative Thoughts Into Positive Ones
Changing negative thoughts into more positive ones takes two things above all else: practice and patience.
You can do that with both real-life situations and made-up scenarios, but the key is to start simple. The last thing you’d want is to overwhelm your child.
Tell your kid that whenever he gets a negative thought, he can turn it into a positive one by using this 3-step process:
- Take a deep breath
- Say, “Stop. Relax” out loud or in your head
- Say something positive to yourself, like “I can handle this.” or “I am strong,” before flipping the negative thought
The third step is a little complex because it’s often difficult to think about a situation in a more positive light. To teach your kid how to do so, practice made-up examples, like turning:
- “I’m never going to get this!” into “I’m having a hard time understanding this. Maybe I should get help from my teachers or parents”
- “This is too hard for me!” into “I should take a break so that I don’t get a headache or tire myself out”
- “Nobody likes me!” into “Today I will find a way to make a new friend. Maybe I should get some tips on making friends from my parents”
Basically, practice examples to develop a mindset of positive thinking in negative situations.
3. Model Positive Self Talk
For children, there’s no better role model than their parents. So just like you show them good manners, set an example of positive self-talk by talking positively to yourself in front of them.
On the same note, avoid making negative self-statements in front of your child. Phrases like “I can’t” or “I never” are your cues for an upcoming negative thought. Resist the urge to say it in the presence of your little one.
Doing so will help both you and your child to develop a more positive mindset.