Life can sometimes bring you down, and kids are not really different to adults. Their priorities are different, and they don’t have the big stressors that adults have; mortgages, job insecurity and being 110% responsible for children, for example, but the world around them can get to them, too.
Whilst children tend to live in the moment, each of those moments can forge the direction they’re headed in life and whether they’ll take a positive or a negative outlook on life in general, and themselves specifically.
All is not lost and you can help kids to keep positive about life, particularly when things are seeming to drag them down and sadness is settling in.
1. Stay Positive
Model the behaviour you want your children to inherit.
They will notice how you handle situations and this will be their education when faced with the same or similar scenarios.
The way you speak about others, or situations in general, the emotions you give off and your behaviour in general; whether this is sitting, hunched and sad, or being proactive and productive and taking control, for example, will be what they learn and how they approach life.
Use positive language; ‘do’, ‘can’ as often as possible, and speak positively about what’s going on.
2. Find the Positive
Regardless of the situation, there is always a silver lining, a rainbow or a bright side. Sometimes, that silver lining is hidden deep within the dark clouds surrounding the situation, or it is difficult to attribute to a situation.
Look for the a positive, however small, or find a different way of looking at the situation. What is another perspective, how may someone else view the scenario? Or what can be learnt from what’s happening in your, or their, life right now?
Keeping with the positive language, encouragement rather than condemnation or finding fault will help them stay positive.
Know it is okay to fail, and that many successful people have failed multiple times, gives them a positive outlook in a sad moment. Point out the things they did right, and the opportunities for learning, rather than stating them as failures.
4. Quit the Comparisons
It’s very easy to compare children with their siblings and peers, or even what you were like at that age.
It’s important, however, that children are recognised as individuals, with their own likes, dislikes and, in this case, talents. Most kids will be ‘average’ at most things, but all children will have something they either enjoy doing or are good at doing.
Usually, if they excel in one area, they may be just average in another; if they’re great at maths, for example, they may not be so great at P.E., and that’s okay.
Let them know this, remind them of those things they’re good at and that no one person is great at everything. Encourage and be positive.
Laughter is not only the best medicine, but it is also great for the mind, body and soul.
Although some moments may be hard to deal with, finding a way to laugh at them will help. We can also get a bit caught up in it being taboo to laugh in some situations; but laughter will help deal with the situation much more easily, break the ice and allow for more open discussion and connection between people.
If nothing else, find every opportunity to laugh throughout your day, for no other reason than because you can.