Teach your children about positive self talk and HOW to become positive in their thinking.
Self talk includes both the positive and negative messages that make up our inner dialogue of thoughts.
It is extremely beneficial to your children to show them positive ways of thinking and how to recognize that inner message voice of self talk, as the habit of negative self talk usually begins in childhood.
Positive self talk can change attitudes from despair to hope and provide courage and optimism in place of negativity even in adverse circumstances.
Recently a young man asked me if negative self talk would be the same thing as sending yourself negative text messages?
If you read each text message as you receive it, and take on board the message it contains, then one has to agree that it would!
The question is then: Why would we send ourselves a stream of negative put downs?
Interestingly enough that is exactly what negative inner self talk does.
So how about the opposite then?
How about seeing positive self talk as a series of text messages to yourself that build you up, help you to persevere and bring you courage?
You can teach your children how to listen to their thinking and howto send themselves positive self talk as if the thoughts were inner text messages. The benefits are countless.
Children can learn to recognize and monitor their inner thoughts.
Show your children your own thought processes by explaining them – encourage positive thinking by helping your children to recognize that their negative statements such as, I’ll never be able to do it can become, I often do succeed at things.
Tell them what you see in their actions, I really love the way you kept on trying with your homework question.
- Learn To Listen
In response to her own shameful behaviour, my daughter said What was I thinking?
Well, what were you thinking I replied.
I don’t know I wasn’t listening to myself at the time she responded.
We can learn to listen to ourselves. On a deeper level this means that we learn to become aware of our own intuitive inner wisdom as well.
Teaching children to hear themselves and to recognize when they complain, whine or negate opportunities in their own minds is about teaching them about self awareness and control as well.
A positive attitude is formed and maintained through healthy self talk – an attitude of I can and I will builds self esteem and confidence and beats I can’t constantly. Our attitude to life is largely determined by the way we explain bad or sad things that happen to us.
- Optimism vs Pessimism
Optimists see around the corner while pessimists seem to be backed into the corner.
People who tell themselves they are tired, unable, inferior and second rate constantly experience these very things, while people who do the opposite have positive outcomes to prove it.We are what we think becomes true for us.
Positive self talk, just like reading repetitive affirmations, or listening to positive words from others, lifts our spirits. To overcome pessimism we have to make a choice to focus on the positive – to look at what it right, rather than what is wrong with our lives.
Self limiting thoughts such as this is impossible create greater stress. As a parent, you can help your children to have a positive focus, condition them to make good choices.
Keep it real though – allow for tension, stress and reality, but an overall attitude towards positive outcomes is learned throughout childhood.
- Positive Self Talk – Tools For Change
Teach your children that when they hear their own put downs to take a deep breath and say STOP to themselves. Then try to search for the opposite thought or at least a more neutral one.
Limit the use of strong words such as I hate in your thinking. If you listen to the speech patterns of others, you quickly become aware of how limiting this word is – and how it invites more negative connotations than necessary into your daily life.
Read positive and optimistic stories to your children. One that comes to mind is The Little Engine Who Could, I think I can, I think I can, as he puffed up the steep hill.
- Positive Self Talk – Optimistic Sayings
Remind your children about optimistic sayings such as:
- Two men looked out from prison bars – one saw mud, the other stars.
- Remind them that it is their choice to see their glass half full or half empty.
- Talk to them about silver linings and point out these truths in your own life.
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