Is your kid battling a bad attitude? If your child is unhappy, it might make you feel helpless and like you're failing as a parent. You've probably already tried it all from simply removing their new toy to ordering them to stay in bed all day.
These are all band-aids at best, and the search for a permanent solution can be exhausting. You'll find advice on how to encourage your youngster to adopt more constructive habits in the next post.
The first piece of advice is to figure out what kind of disorder they could have that would cause them to act in such a way. Depressed or anxious youngsters, for instance, may behave out because they lack confidence in a positive outcome and are afraid of the future.
Any parent will tell you that raising a negative child is difficult. They tend to be pessimistic by nature, and that's not always easy to alter. Here are some ways you can encourage your youngster to develop a more optimistic outlook and break through any self-imposed limitations.
To put it simply, pessimists see only the bad aspects of any situation. This may be really trying, as they have a nasty habit of dragging everyone else down with them and making it impossible to appreciate what's going on around them.
Although most of those people may be unaware of the damage they are doing to those around them, this article offers advice on how to teach a child who is chronically negative. In order to change matters around and start recognising the wonderful things in life again, these kids need our help and patience as parents.
Most all go through bad patches, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate the good times when they arrive! Let's pull together as a unit to restore our sense of self-worth.
Practical Advice for Parents of a Pessimistic Kid
Have you been blessed with a negative little one? Does your kid tend to dwell on the bad when something wonderful is planned for them? Do they whine and complain instead of seeing obstacles as opportunities?
Do people give up when things get difficult, instead choosing to complain loudly instead of working through the problem?
Do they blame everyone else (and especially you) for their issues and overuse the phrases "always" and "never"? A pessimist, then!
The great news is that you can train children to be more optimistic. Use these techniques on a daily basis to alter your child's outlook on difficulties.
Put an End to Your Whining
Parents' pessimistic outlooks are often to blame when offspring develop similar attitudes. Keeping from grousing and griping is, therefore, the task at hand. When you become aware of your own criticising or muttering thoughts. Don't do that.
Say only things that are true, helpful, kind, and highlight the positive in the situation if at all possible. On the other hand, if you desire your child to break the cycle of negative thought, this can serve as an example of how to do so. As a result, you'll be an effective leader.
Insights like this should help your child see that there is more than one way to approach a challenge. one that is more constructive, positive, and grounded in reality. Have a moaning box, similar to a swear box, and place your kid in charge of it to force you to take responsibility for every time you grouse.
The Filter Needs To Be Changed, Please Help Your Kid
Encourage your youngster to examine the lens through which they view the world. similar to altering the lens through which they see things. You have the power to open their eyes to the fact that right now, the filter is only allowing the bad things in. That's just how they see things, and it's not their fault. Also, users can adjust the settings to let in only the best, most optimistic ideas.
Accompany them in considering alternate viewpoints. Take into account alternative viewpoints. Consider what you might be able to do to encourage your kid to broaden their perspective. As an added bonus, you may tell them that changing their perspective will improve their sense of well-being, enable them to recover more quickly from setbacks, and enable them to deal with disappointment with more grace and less emotional distress.
More importantly, their happiness will increase. Use a narrative to illustrate how a kid who believes positively would react differently to a circumstance your child typically views negatively, such as placing second in a race.
Then you might enquire, "Which kid is happier?" Ask them how they think others might feel if they concentrated on the difficulties or drawbacks rather than the positives. Encourage your kid to see that optimists enjoy life more than pessimists do and teach them to think positively.
Two examples of possible games are:
- Gimme five – when things are tough, they should try to discover the five 'positive aspects' about it. They could then, if it assists, make a fist and raise a thumb and fingers for each good they discover. The next time they complain, inform them of the game by showing them a closed fist. But don't do it in an aggressive manner; that could come out as menacing.
- Unfortunately / fortunately. Imagine a precarious circumstance, in which you must announce that "UNFORTUNATELY," the store has run out of desserts. Then your kid says, "Thank goodness they made money selling cookies." After that, you drag out the phrase "unfortunately they didn't have any chocolate ones" for as long as possible. Unfortunately, the trick to the game is to begin with it, so your child will need to look on the bright side.
Cultivate an Attitude of Appreciation
You can also encourage an attitude of thankfulness in your kid. Studies have shown that having kids keep a gratitude journal can improve their well-being, academic performance, and overall pleasure with life.
Maybe at the conclusion of each day they might jot down five things for which they are thankful or glad in a diary. and the day's successes in general. Alternatively, they could make a long list and add to it whenever they had something new to add.
The list may be written on a single sheet of paper, or they might keep it in a tiny notebook with a new appreciation on each page. Or, at the end of each meal, have everyone share three positive experiences from their day.
When a child is taught to be thankful for whatever they have, it might alter their outlook. They are able to see the bright side of life more clearly as a result. To gain perspective in trying times.
Considering the Real World
Negative self-talk can cause tension and a pessimistic outlook on life, both of which can negatively affect a child's performance in school and their outlook on the future. So, when your kid says things like, "I hate myself," "I can't do it," and "I'll not even be able to do this," know that they're just trying to cope. Teaching your child to perform a reality check is a straightforward approach to assisting them in changing stressful thought patterns. In addition, have them ponder:
- Exactly what am I telling myself?
- In what measure is this true?
- Do you believe this technique helps?
- To what end will this effort be directed?
- I can't think of anything to substitute it with.
When your child is feeling overwhelmed, it's best not to argue with them. If you disagree with what they say, you're only adding to their anxiety. However, by asking your child questions like these, you encourage them to consider alternatives that could prove useful. Or you could enquire as to the opinion of their closest confidant. What do you think they would say if they did come around?
Provide Support and Compassion While Guiding Them Through Their Feelings
To help your child when they are being negative, try to figure out what emotion they are experiencing and what might be causing that emotion.
You seem very distressed. Losing a treasured possession is a terrible experience.
"You seem to be in a lot of pain right now. Must have been hurtful that James completely disregarded you, especially since you two are usually so close.
It seems that right now your biggest concern is the person sitting next to you on the couch. The anticipation of the next school trip appears to have dampened.
When you say something like, "You seem frustrated about that," you show that you care. "That seems extremely grating." One may say, "That must have been tough to take."
As such, you shouldn't step in and try to fix it for them. Don't say anything besides that you understand how they feel. You may have become frustrated in the past when your child had a pessimistic outlook, but it's not easy for a child to shift their perspective. The initial step is emotional understanding.
Don't become frustrated or angry or attempt to persuade them out of being negative. Don't bother trying to convince them that their feelings are irrational. Simply help them feel acknowledged and respected.
Assist Them in Finding Solutions That Work for Them
Then you and they might work together to find solutions. It would be helpful to start by writing the issue at the center of the page. Help your kid come up with a long list of potential answers; you can always chip in with a couple of your own suggestions at the end if you like.
Examine the potential outcomes of each solution with your child. Ask them to pick the one they'd like to try first. Yes, this is possible for each and every issue they pose.
Then, instead of being overwhelmed by the whole of their problems, individuals may begin to examine each concern individually and determine the best course of action to take.
Do keep in mind that this may be challenging for your child if he or she is used to relying upon you to assist them with difficulties and you are quick to rush in and advise them what to do.
Be patient; progress is gradual. Your kid is used to having a pessimistic outlook on life. So, just chill out. Keep at it, because these methods really will make a difference in your child's ability to bounce back from adversity and enjoy life.
Tearfulness, Sadness, and Depression in Children
If you ask most parents, "I just need my kid to be happy" is what they'll answer. The majority of us know intellectually that we can't keep our kids happy all the time, but it's still a rude awakening when we see them downcast on a regular basis.
As parents, we often react differently to our children's melancholy than we do to their other emotions. As parents, we naturally assume that our child's feelings of worry, anger, or despair are common, fleeting, and treatable occurrences. We also believe it is our responsibility to guide our kids when they experience these feelings and learn to cope with them.
The sorrow from not being capable of easing our children's sadness when they experience it ourselves is far greater. Parental feelings of helplessness, frustration, worry, and even deep-down failure may result. There's an underlying sense of "wrongness" about it.
But the fact is that feeling down is normal for kids sometimes. Even while only around 2%-3% of pre-pubescent children will suffer the type and intensity of melancholy that psychologists will label as a clinical major depression, several more children are experiencing slightly less severe, but nevertheless persistent and frequent, sadness at some point in childhood.
Which Young People Feel Sad Often and for a Long Time, and Why?
When kids are faced with adversity, their emotional well-being often takes a nosedive. Children who are dealing with difficult life circumstances, such as parental separation, loss, disease, learning difficulties, financial hardship, or illness in the family are more prone to experience persistent sadness.
Because of the foregoing "difficult childhood circumstances," indigenous children also have a higher risk of experiencing recurrent depressive moods. Furthermore, older kids are more likely than younger children to suffer sadness.
If a child has a natural propensity towards emotional and psychological sensitivity, he or she also has a higher likely to experience depressive and hopeless feelings. These kids are what I like to refer to as "kids with huge sentiments." These young people have intense responses to the world around them, feeling and thinking deeply about everything they encounter.
On occasion, they display a high level of intelligence, originality, and sensitivity to others' feelings. Those of you who have children like this will understand exactly what I mean, and you should also know that "kids with large feelings" are more likely to go through periods of depression.
How Does Chronic Disappointment in Children Present Itself?
How this kind of grief may seem like in a kid's life is illustrated below.
After his parents divorced, Aaron*, then nine years old, decided to see me. His parents expressed concern and frustration with him to me during the last few months. Parents claimed that he was always snapping at his younger brothers, crying "just at drop of a hat," claiming to be "tired" all the time, refusing to play soccer (which he had previously enjoyed), and increasingly sitting alone during recess and lunch despite being told to join his friends.
Aaron told me he doesn't hang out with his pals and has lost interest in soccer. He mentioned that he misses his mother when he is at his father's house and vice versa. Furthermore, he has expressed that he believes "school is stupid," and that he frequently experiences negative emotions such as sadness and anger for which he has no clear explanation. During our session together, his eyes welled up with tears, and I quickly learned that this would be a recurring theme for a while.
The events in Aaron's life are representative of the experiences of these kids in general. We can see that when kids are sad on a regular basis, they are less interested in spending time with others, find life more challenging, are less motivated to be physically active or participate in pleasurable pursuits, and are more prone to crying. It's possible they'll be short-tempered, constantly whine, and state that they're in pain or too exhausted to function normally.
They could look to have poor self and repeat negative self-talk to themselves. Some kids may even express a desire to die, saying things such, "I'd rather be dead," "there is no purpose in life," or "I wish I'd never been born."
Parents often feel helpless and anxious when their children are going through something like this. It's also likely that they've felt anger and frustration towards their depressed youngster or towards others. Many parents I've spoken with are seeking for an individual to blame for their child's sadness, and they often point the finger at the child's peers, teachers, or the other parent.
The parents of Aaron felt completely helpless. They would try to cheer Justin up and tell him to "think positively." On the other hand, they had often gotten upset and shouted at him, especially when Justin displayed unusually irritated and hostile behaviour towards his siblings. They complained that Justin's classmates were unfriendly and that the school hadn't dealt adequately with bullying incidents in the prior year.
Here are some messages that may be helpful to you and your child if your kid is prone to or going through periods of sadness.
Take comfort in the fact that your depressed kid's mood isn't permanent
It's not unusual for people of any age to experience what seems like perpetual sadness while going through a depressive episode. They complain about everything, from the day they just had to the school they attend to the people they sit next to in class. They tell you things like, "I'm always sad," and they don't hold back on their criticisms. If your child is always complaining about how sad and hopeless they feel, you may conclude that nothing good is happening in their life.
But this self-report isn't entirely accurate; it's just the way the minds work. Because of how our brains are wired, we tend to dwell on the negative when we're feeling down. Thus, when sad, children (and adults) instinctively "filter out" pleasant memories, interactions, people, and experiences. However, this in no way disproves their existence.
Parents, as well as their children, should be aware that sorrow is not permanent. Even the most chronically downhearted kid has plenty of opportunities to be completely engrossed in a task, take pleasure in an activity, or look forwards to something throughout the course of a typical day. It's crucial for parents to keep this in mind and work with their kids to recognise the nuances of emotion.
This doesn't mean a kid isn't feeling a lot of grief, though. It's the case sometimes. Now we can move on to the next topic.
Your Child’s Feelings of Sadness Will Gradually Decrease Over Time.
Childhood depression that lasts for years is highly unusual. Your youngster is likely to experience less sadness and less frequently in the coming years. Working with hundreds of kids has taught me that eventually, most of them will feel less down.
Know that your child's fortunes will likely improve at some point in the future. They may, for instance, learn to cope with adversity, overcome their loss, make new friends, become involved in something they enjoy, or otherwise experience a shift in their outlook on life.
Sadness is likely to decrease as people develop ways of thinking about and dealing with life, even if the underlying causes remain the same. Not least because of the availability of aid and encouragement. My following point will be related to this.
You, the Parents, Have the Ability to Comfort Your Depressed Child
When their efforts to comfort their child's sadness are unsuccessful, parents frequently feel helpless. They are powerless and feel that there's nothing anyone can do. You can't say that because it's not true.
To help our children experience less sadness and better able to deal with difficult life circumstances, we as parents can guide and support them. Not at this time, but we may make a difference over time.
Now, the important details.
Here is a checklist of strategies that parents might employ to aid their children in weathering the storms of grief.
- Take an empathetic stance. Coexist with them; join them. Express sympathy by saying things like, "I'm sad you seemed to have a hard day" or "I'm unhappy you are going through a hard time right now."
- The best thing you can do is practise patience with your kid. Keep in mind that your kid cannot "make themselves" happy or optimistic.
- To find out what causes someone to experience sadness, you should ask about triggers. While it's true that kids might get down "for no reason," more often than not there are specific things like memories or experiences that bring on their sadness. Make an effort to educate kids on how to recognise some of these, and encourage them to consider alternative approaches to dealing with them (or avoided).
- Although it is necessary to be aware of and enquire about potential triggers, it is equally crucial that we refrain from dwelling excessively on the gloomy or the problematic. Talking for an hour straight (especially right before bedtime) might not help the situation. It's better to say something like, "we will discuss again about this soon, but now let's read a book/watch TV," etc., to distract your child.
- Don't let your own anger at others contribute to your child's misery. No one—including educators, medical professionals, parents, or peers—can "cure" your child because they are not the (only) cause of the issue.
- Tactfully but empathetically criticise statements like "I'm always sad," explaining that such an emotion is a portion of grief but is not the whole truth. Inquire as to the times when they were happy, interesting, or engrossed in something other than their melancholy.
- Help your kids see the bright side of life by teaching them to focus on the good that lies ahead. Exercises like "thanks" and "my fascinating week" can be incorporated on occasion. Create some that look back in time and others that look forwards to the future.
- Maintain a focus on friendships; it's challenging to alleviate kids' melancholy if they feel alone and isolated. Having more friends can help kids feel less down even if they're dealing with anything that would normally make them upset (such losing someone close to them or being separated from their family) or if they're having trouble in school or with their health.
- Your efforts to assist your youngster find elements of self-esteem and significance should continue. Like adults, kids need to know they're contributing to something worthwhile.
- Get some exercise, get some rest, and eat well. When kids are more physically fit, active, and get enough sleep and healthy food, they experience less sadness. Take care not to overlook them.
- Help youngsters learn to deal with feelings of sadness by providing them with coping strategies. In order to prevent them from isolating themselves or dwelling on their feelings of sadness, you should encourage them to create a list of "busy brain" activities. Assist them in finding words to express their feelings of sadness rather than lashing out or breaking down in tears. Assist them in determining what causes their sadness and work with them to come up with solutions.
- Invoke the services of ancillary experts. Professionals including psychologists, educators, school counsellors, and general practitioners can help you and your child take things gently while you go through the above.
Take care of yourself last of all. Parenting a child who experiences sadness is difficult and stressful, as I've mentioned multiple times in this essay. Taking care of your own mental, emotional, and physiological health is essential if you want to make it through a trying and stressful situation. Do what you need to do to start taking care of yourself, whether that's talking to others, seeking professional help, taking a break from parenting, or something else else.
To raise a child who is always complaining is challenging for any parent. In general, they have a negative outlook on life that isn't always easy to change. The only thing that pessimists see is the negative, and they bring everyone else down with them. Take a look at these suggestions for helping your child become more upbeat. Only make statements that are genuine, helpful, and kind, and that put a positive spin on things.
A child's academic performance can suffer if he or she is always having negative thoughts about themselves. If your kid is acting down, you should try to figure out why they're feeling that way. As you help them sort through their emotions, be supportive and compassionate. It's possible that you and your kid could solve each other's difficulties. As parents, our first instinct is to think that our child's anxiety, rage, or depression is normal, temporary, and manageable.
It is our duty, as parents, to help our children through these difficult emotions. It's estimated that just 2%-3% of pre-pubescent children experience true clinical severe depression. However, many more kids experience feelings of sadness that are not as intense but nonetheless persistent and regular. Younger children are less prone to experience sadness than older ones. Children who suffer from persistent sadness have a harder difficulty finding joy in life and are less motivated to spend time with others.
To learn how you may help your child through their emotional development, keep reading. Ask your youngster to recall a time when they were interested in something other than their sadness. Having more friends makes it easier for children to deal with problems that could otherwise cause them distress such losing someone close to them. Children who are more physically fit, active, and who get sufficient rest and nutritious diet are less likely to suffer from depression. Help them figure out how to put their pain into words rather than acting out or shutting down. Begin taking care of yourself immediately by whatever means are necessary.
FAQS ABOUT HELPING YOUR PESSIMIST CHILD
There can be many reasons for a negative or pessimistic attitude, and they may appear alongside symptoms of depression or anxiety. For the latter, being negative about a process or situation may be a sort of defence mechanism; a way of 'preparing for the worst'.
Teach Positive Behavior
Encourage your child to make a positive effort when their first reaction is negative. Guide your child to make amends if they have damaged a social relationship with their negative attitude. Help them develop hobbies and interests that they enjoy, and that can relieve or calm a negative mood.
Children whine when lots of feelings have backed up inside them. If the pile of feelings is high, this can take some time. Parents don't always have the time a child needs to finish the emotional task at hand. You may manage to listen to fifteen or twenty minutes of crying, and then feel the need to stop your child.
Even if your child's initial reaction is negative, you should always encourage them to try something positive. Assist your child in making amends with anyone whose feelings they may have hurt due to their unpleasant demeanour. You can help them feel better by encouraging them to pursue interests and hobbies that they enjoy and that can help them relax and feel better.
Even those with a more pessimistic attitude benefit from using optimistic language to describe traumatic experiences, according to the study's authors.
- Any parent will tell you that raising a negative child is difficult.
- Although most of those people may be unaware of the damage they are doing to those around them, this article offers advice on how to teach a child who is chronically negative.
- The great news is that you can train children to be more optimistic.
- Use these techniques on a daily basis to alter your child's outlook on difficulties.
- similar to altering the lens through which they see things.
- Encourage your kid to see that optimists enjoy life more than pessimists do and teach them to think positively.
- You can also encourage an attitude of thankfulness in your kid.
- Studies have shown that having kids keep a gratitude journal can improve their well-being, academic performance, and overall pleasure with life.
- Negative self-talk can cause tension and a pessimistic outlook on life, both of which can negatively affect a child's performance in school and their outlook on the future.
- Teaching your child to perform a reality check is a straightforward approach to assisting them in changing stressful thought patterns.
- When your child is feeling overwhelmed, it's best not to argue with them.
- Examine the potential outcomes of each solution with your child.
- Ask them to pick the one they'd like to try first.
- Yes, this is possible for each and every issue they pose.
- But the fact is that feeling down is normal for kids sometimes.
- When kids are faced with adversity, their emotional well-being often takes a nosedive.
- Children who are dealing with difficult life circumstances, such as parental separation, loss, disease, learning difficulties, financial hardship, or illness in the family are more prone to experience persistent sadness.
- Because of the foregoing "difficult childhood circumstances," indigenous children also have a higher risk of experiencing recurrent depressive moods.
- If a child has a natural propensity towards emotional and psychological sensitivity, he or she also has a higher likely to experience depressive and hopeless feelings.
- Those of you who have children like this will understand exactly what I mean, and you should also know that "kids with large feelings" are more likely to go through periods of depression.
- Many parents I've spoken with are seeking for an individual to blame for their child's sadness, and they often point the finger at the child's peers, teachers, or the other parent.
- If your child is always complaining about how sad and hopeless they feel, you may conclude that nothing good is happening in their life.
- Parents, as well as their children, should be aware that sorrow is not permanent.
- Your youngster is likely to experience less sadness and less frequently in the coming years.
- Know that your child's fortunes will likely improve at some point in the future.
- When their efforts to comfort their child's sadness are unsuccessful, parents frequently feel helpless.
- To find out what causes someone to experience sadness, you should ask about triggers.
- to distract your child.
- Don't let your own anger at others contribute to your child's misery.
- Inquire as to the times when they were happy, interesting, or engrossed in something other than their melancholy.
- Help your kids see the bright side of life by teaching them to focus on the good that lies ahead.
- Maintain a focus on friendships; it's challenging to alleviate kids' melancholy if they feel alone and isolated.
- Your efforts to assist your youngster find elements of self-esteem and significance should continue.
- Taking care of your own mental, emotional, and physiological health is essential if you want to make it through a trying and stressful situation.
- Do what you need to do to start taking care of yourself, whether that's talking to others, seeking professional help, taking a break from parenting, or something else.