With Covid 19 still scuppering many of life’s plans over the coming months, it can be all too easy for kids to complain that “it’s not fair”. Yes, they can complain about life not being far, OR they could develop a positive mental attitude. Today we have Cosmopolitan-Featured Artist & creator of Little Curly’s Happy Kids Affirmation Cards, Ella Parry, who went from being a child-refugee to celebrity-backed illustrator, to share ten ways o help children develop a positive mental attitude in life.
Be a Positive Role Model
As a young child, it’s vital to have positive role models to allow them to subconsciously model the healthiest habits & beliefs that will empower them later in life.
This means the responsibility falls on the parents and guardians for making sure their behaviours are the ones they want their children to follow.
How you respond to your children is one of the most important things you can do as a parent, and that requires conscious awareness of the tone of your voice, your various actions, and your own emotions (and how you express them!).
Ask yourself: “Is the way I am behaving, the way I want my child to behave in the future?”
Teach Children That Their Thoughts Have Power
Thoughts are things. As science has shown, every thought has a certain energy, which influences the mind and body to feel a certain way, influencing decisions & actions which produces an outcome and final result.
Children should be taught that their thoughts have real power and can shape their life by what they focus their energy on. The sooner they understand that they can create anything through the power of their mind, the more empowered they will be when they reach adulthood.
Cultivating a practice of mindfulness everyday, allows children to connect with the present moment, which not only can decrease anxieties, fears, and stresses, but also allows them to fully enjoy the basic goodness of every moment, no matter what the situation. This makes them more resilient in life.
There are so many different ways to practice mindfulness, but here are a few things you can start this practice with them:
- Draw, paint, or do crafts
- Eat a “mindful” snack by having them describe the smell, texture, look and taste of the food
- Go for a walk outside and describe the sights and sounds along the way
- Spend some time with your children and ‘colour your feelings’ together by drawing out each emotion with a new colour, shape and texture.
Encourage Them To Explore and Do What They Love
Although kids need structure, it’s important not to swing to the extremes and become overbearing. Children also need freedom to explore and let their curiosity loose, within the boundaries of a safe environment of course.
Encouraging your children to discover new activities, interests, and passions is an empowering decision that allows them to create a strong foundation for their futures and tap into their inner creativity and genius.
Empower Them in Positive Environments & with Positive People
Making sure that your kids are placed in environments with other children or adults who are positive and nurturing is important because it boosts their mental health and helps them achieve a positive mental attitude also. It gives them a healthy way to grow and model positive behaviours and beliefs about others and life that will serve them their entire lifetime.
Positive environments include going to interest and play groups which have other kids to interact with, while doing fun and creative activities, such as drawing or crafts. Or it could be something to do with singing, dancing, or physical exercise like kicking a football around in the yard with their friends.
Ultimately, it’s important that the people around your children have a positive mindset and are themselves happy and empowered.
Help Them Focus on Positive Events of the Day
A great activity to do at the end of each day with your children is to ask them what the most positive and happy moments of their day were. If they have trouble remembering, guide them by outlining some of the events that happened and ask them what they liked best about them.
This helps them to develop the habit of focusing on the little successes and fun moments that make them feel good inside and boosts their mood on days when it’s more emotionally challenging for them.
The more you do this practice with them, the more second-nature it will become and the more resilient your children will be.
Following on from the previous point, you can also incorporate a practice of gratitude, either first thing in the morning, in the evening before bed, or ideally, both!
Ask them what they are thankful or grateful for. Again, if they have difficulty coming up with things, guide them by giving them a few options to choose from. Eventually, they’ll be able to come up with more and more things they’re grateful for, which will increase their happiness and abundance in life.
You can keep this exercise simple by limiting the items by a specific number – for example – what are 5 things you are thankful for?
To truly teach them, you as a parent need to also practice what you preach, so it’s important to do this exercise yourself, especially with your children.
Support Them To Embrace & Feel Their Emotions
Emotional intelligence is developed early in childhood, and you can empower your children by showing them that it’s OK to feel sad, angry, upset, or disappointed.
By helping them become consciously aware of their feelings, it allows your children to understand and deal with emotions in a positive and constructive way.
Ask them on a regular basis, how they feel. Then listen! If they are having trouble describing how they feel, ask them where in their body the feeling is? What colour is it, if it had a colour? What shape is it, if it had a shape? What texture does it have, if it had a texture? Is it warm or cold? Is it moving, and if so, how is it moving, or where to?
By getting your child to answer the above questions, it helps them focus their awareness on the emotion and this allows them to integrate and process it in a healthy way, instead of suppressing it.
Cultivate Self-Acceptance & Self-Love
To form a healthy identity and optimistic attitude when your children eventually become adults, teaching them self-acceptance and self-love is super important.
It shows them that despite what society or others around them say, they are perfect they way they are and unconditionally loveable. It also allows them to develop a healthy self-respect that is necessary for positive mental health and developing a positive mental attitude.
How do you help your children cultivate these traits? It starts with yourself of course, but here are a few things you can do to start with:
- Make them feel important – be interested in what they have to say, look them in the eyes and be present
- Tell them verbally that you love them, on a regular basis
- Show them how to be giving, but also how to receive graciously
- Support them in identifying their strengths and areas for growth
- Help them to understand their gifts and embrace their uniqueness
Daily Positive Affirmations
Finally, you can teach your children powerful positive affirmations that will eventually become part of their subconscious belief system, which will influence their entire life in countless positive ways.
Help them understand the meaning of a chosen affirmation phrase, such as “I am unique and special” and have them repeat it and remember it throughout their day. Every day, you can share with them a new empowering phrase they can take with them into their life.
Using a tool such as Happy Kids Affirmation Cards makes this process even more enjoyable and easier to do with your kids. This pack of 25 beautifully-illustrated cards are specifically designed to empower kids to increase their confidence, self-esteem, and create a positive, healthy & successful future.
You can support Little Curly’s Kickstarter campaign by pledging for one of the many tiers, which will not only allow you to order these beautiful affirmation cards, but also be entered to win a rare opportunity to become an inspirational character in the next release of Little Curly’s affirmation cards in 2021: https://littlecurly.com/kickstarter
We hope these tips on how to help children have a positive mental attitude will help parents around the world support the positive mental health of their children, especially during challenging times where uncertainty, anxieties, and fears are heightened.
Cover image picture credit: Cute photo created by drobotdean – www.freepik.com
Some really great tips. My eldest is definitely a glass half empty kind of child, and we have to work really hard with him at times to try and help him have a more positive outlook. I find it interesting too because on the whole I think myself and my husband are quite positive people, and my youngest has much more of a ‘can do’ attitude, so I get myself into the whole nature nurture debate with this!
I absolutely love this post! This is the exact sort of thing I positively encourage with my children.
It can sometimes be hard so this advice is so valuable. Thank you so much for sharing x
Love this post and It’s so important. I agree our children learn from adults around them so we need to make an effort to be a positive role model for them.
There are so many great ideas in this post. I definitely will be trying out some of the mindfulness ideas. We have been trying to encourage gratitude more too. We’ve started singing a ‘grace’ before our main meal (one to the tune of Adams Family and the other to Rock Around the Clock). Not really for the religious side but more to remind the boys that they are fortunate to have full tummies.
There’s so many things to take from this. I’ve just written about being more mindful myself – imagine if it were a practice I’d started when I was three… need to get going with my little man!
Excellent post! This is so important for a child’s development and into who they will eventually become. Gratitude is a powerful tool and a great way to show kids how good they have it x
These are such great tips, especially teaching our kids positive affirmations one! I am going to share this post with my sisters who have kids. Very helpful
Love these tips and I think my eldest would particularly benefit from me spending more time being mindful and talking about emotions with him. He is extremely sensitive and gets upset easily and I think it’s something I as his mum definitely need to help him with more xx