R = Rise Above (or The Power of Positive Thinking for Kids!)
Isn’t it funny how the most successful and happy people seem to rise above negativity and see the world positively?
Instead of having a point of view seems to be negative or full of fear, they seem to roll with the barriers to reaching their goals or dreams, and are most likely to be able to tell you everything that’s right with their day instead of focusing on any struggles? These people can seem grateful and it may even seem that they are luckier than others because their positivity and intention attracts more goodness! As a parent, setting your children up for success from the beginning, so they are infused with that sort of positivity from Day 1, might be one of the most important things you can do to ensure their internal strength, resilience and happiness throughout their entire lives.
While it’s important to let kids feel their feelings – give them space to be sad, angry, or afraid – it’s also important as parents that we teach them how to get beyond negativity. Stuff happens. Empowering your children to face problems with clarity and a visualization of success and the ability to tap into that attitude when necessary can help them be happier adults later in life, regardless of what circumstances they might encounter.
Studies have shown that positive thinking can decrease physical pain, boost the immune system, improve athletic performance and help people generally feel happier.
- Set a positive example. The first step in teaching your kids anything is to be a good example. Let your children see you feel sadness and then choose to be positive. Use positive language with them and around them. Speak your positive intentions and gratitude out loud.
- Empathize first, then offer a different perspective. When your child is discouraged, avoid rushing in to tell them that everything is OK or that they are looking at things “wrong”. Let them know you understand how they feel and why they might feel that way. Once you’ve made sure they feel heard, offer another perspective as a possible alternative.
- Help your child see life as a process. Kids can get frustrated with their own limitations, as can adults. Remind them that they aren’t “done yet” and that they’re supposed to still be learning and developing new skills. Teaching them that life is a constant journey will help them develop perseverance.
- Teach the power of visualization. Before school each morning, try asking “how are you going to have a good day today?” Talk to your kids about visualizing positive outcomes and look for opportunities in their daily lives to have them practice. They could practice positive thinking before a test or sporting event, for example, seeing themselves spike a ball fiercely over the net!
- Develop a strong mind-body connection. A great way to feel empowered to rise above negative emotions is feel really grounded in your mind’s ability to communicate with your body. Children’s bodies go through a lot of growing, and they often don’t feel in control of what’s going on with them! Yoga for kids is a great family activity that will instill a sense of mastery and that great connection between mind and body to manifest success!
Teach Kids How has several tips for teaching kids positive thinking. You can also checkout the workbook for kids, No More Stinking Thinking. Playful Planet’s Storytime Yoga is ideal for helping children learn yoga, giving them the resilience to rise above.