The way a child thinks has a significant impact on how he or she feels and behaves. Unpleasant, overly critical thoughts can damage children’s self-esteem, interfere with a child’s relationships, and cause them to give up on their goals. As a result, when this person grows up, he creates a TonyBet login for gambling or watches Netflix instead of socializing, even though they want this.
Sometimes this gloomy, pessimistic style of thinking endows the thoughts that emerge with the status of a self-perpetuating event or a coming true fear. For example, a child thinks, “The other kids hate me. All because I am stupid.” He avoids eye contact and is withdrawn both in the playground and in school corridors. His behavior doesn’t allow him to make friends and confirms, reinforcing his conclusion that no one loves him.
Unjustifiably negative attitudes often lead to behavioral problems that might not have been there. Tantrums, disobedience and sibling rivalry are just some of the problems that usually arise under the influence of negative thoughts.
However, with some practical techniques, children can learn to recognize and change their negative thinking habits.
Examples of Negative Thinking
There are several types of negative thinking. Some children think negatively about themselves, while others are afraid that something bad will happen. The following are examples of the main types of negative thinking and how it affects a child’s behavior:
- Generalizing to a specific situation – A child has been asked to give up his brother’s turn at a game. The child thinks, “He always gets everything he wants and I never get anything!” He resents and refuses to play.
- Underestimation of his abilities – When a child is told that he has solved a problem wrong, he tears up his work and thinks, “I can’t do anything right! I always get only the wrong answers!”
- Exaggerating the significance of the situation – The child learns that he gave two wrong answers out of ten on a math test. He concludes, “I’m terrible at solving math,” and refuses to do his homework on the subject at home in the afternoon.
- Predicting that something bad is going to happen – the child thinks about the report he has to give to the class tomorrow and worries: “I won’t make it, and everyone will laugh at me.” He tries to convince his mother that he feels bad, so he has to stay home tomorrow.
- Focusing on the Negative – A child got a good grade on a chemistry test, met a new friend at recess, and was chosen to be on a team for a brainstorming game. But when his mother asked him about his day, he claimed that it had been a terrible day because he had forgotten his sneakers in gym class. After that, he spent the whole evening, frowning and locked in his room.
Helping to Put an End to Negativity
Being able to deal with negative thinking is part of a three-pronged approach to developing children’s psychological resilience. If you hear a child speaking out too negatively or observe behavior that indicates they are likely thinking negatively, it’s important to begin addressing the issue as soon as possible. Here are five ways to help your child quiet their negative thinking.
Acknowledge Your Child’s Feelings
When your child cries in physical or mental pain, instead of telling him, “You’re fine,” acknowledge his feelings. Be sympathetic and make it clear that you are trying to understand what he is feeling right now – even if his emotions seem far fetched. Say something like, “I can see that you’re upset,” or “I understand that you’re nervous.” When children feel accepted, valued, and validated, they will begin to find healthy ways to deal with uncomfortable emotions.
Point out to the Child That Their Thoughts May Be Wrong
The ultimate goal should be for the child to be able to recognize and correct their own negative thoughts, rather than relying on you. To help him come to his conclusions, ask questions to help him understand that his thoughts may be wrong. For example, if your child says he is stupid, tell him, “Think back to those times when you were sure you were smart.” Help him identify some exceptions to the rules so he can see that his thought is not quite right.
Look at the Problem From Different Perspectives
Sometimes the best way to separate emotion from thought is to ask, “What would you say to your friend who would think the same thing?” You can also ask your child what his or her favorite cartoon character or superhero would do. If the child looks at the problem from a different angle, it can change the direction of his thinking.
Replace Negative Thoughts With Realistic Ones
Help your child develop a more realistic outlook. Instead of telling himself, “I can’t do anything right,” it will be helpful for him to tell himself, “Sometimes I make mistakes, and that’s okay.” Teach your child to treat himself with the same kindness and respect with which, hopefully, he treats others.
Solve the Problem of What to Do Next
Help your child turn negative thoughts into positive actions and actively address the problem of choice when dark thoughts come to him. For example, if he assumes he will fail a physics test, get him to take steps to prevent this from happening, have him, for example, repeat the subject or ask questions if he doesn’t understand something. Teach your child to make sensible decisions, even when faced with difficult tasks and unpleasant situations.