Helping Children to Be Positive

Children who are positive in their outlook tend to be more competent, confident, trustworthy, better at friendships and they tend to be leaders. They also tend to be more popular as they make others feel good.

These children seem to screen their world and attend to things that go well for them. They recognise their own strengths and qualities, are capable even in challenging situations, recognise other people’s successes and are able to ‘reframe’ a negative into a positive.

Children seem to follow their own parents thinking styles. If parents are positive in their outlook, children tend to be positive as well. Children of negative and pessimistic parents also tend to be down on the world.

So, it’s very important for parents to learn the skills of positive thinking and optimism and to apply them to parenting and their own lives, particularly when their children are younger.

Parents impact children’s thinking by:

  • Modelling. Children reflect and imitate what they hear and parents present a style of thinking that their children copy. Either the world is full of hope or it’s full of helplessness.
  • Reframing. Teach children to interpret negative thoughts and experiences more positively. Is a situation a problem or a challenge? Is it an impossibility or an opportunity?
  • Tuning into good experiences. Make conversations that focus on what is good in your child’s day and what successes they had. It’s so easy to focus on negatives and disappointments. Ask children: ‘What were the good things about today?’ ‘What can you do differently tomorrow to make it a better day?’
  • Positivity is a quality that is highly attractive and can be taught. Below are some resources that can help parents understand more about positive parenting.

The Triple P – Positive Parenting Program is an accessible and successful parenting support group. Link for more information.

Relationships Australia also conduct many programs to support parents. Link for more information.

The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing also run excellent programs including telephone support services. Link for more information.

Mr Alan Clarke
Paediatric Psychologist

Article supplied by Casey Grammar School