Depression can be one of the worst things for anyone to deal with. One can feel like they are a complete failure no matter what they do; that they can never change or take control of their life; that all shortcomings in their life are their fault. After thinking about all of this, one must wonder why someone might feel like this in life.
Take in this scenario. You are supposed to be the role models for your kids right? Well think about it. Your car get dented, and your trust with the world get a bit of a lost then. As a result, you yelled at the kid for no reason due to your bad mood. As you can see, the way you think and act are brought down by your children, who, you might’ve already known, listen very intently to conversations. Therefore, everybody should learn about the power of optimism.
We all might wonder why we want all children to grow up as an optimist. The reason being, according to Dr. Martin Seligman, is that children who grow up with pessimist ideas can have many disastrous consequences in life. Depressed moods, resignation, and plenty of moments when they feel like underachievers await their future. Poor physical health can also come out as a result.
Children who grow up with optimism can grow better thinking skills and have a better understanding of failure interpretation. They can bounce back quite easily after something goes wrong and are their own personal master. Therefore, parents should take into consideration of these five steps to ensure good mental habits for their children. After all, parents do contribute quite a bit to the thinking habits of their children as they grow up.
1) Parents have to know how to think optimistically themselves.
What children see from their parents influences them much more than what you try to pass down on to them. Model up optimism itself for the child and incorporates its ideas into the way you think in life. No, this is not an easy thing to do overnight, but with time and patience you can learn how to think differently as life goes on.
2) Try a game called thought catching.
This game can help children learn about identifying thoughts at the times when they feel at their worst. These are the emotions that can have a huge impact on their behavior. Like if they receive a bad grade, ask them what would they say to themselves.
3) Let your children know that there is a connection between how they think and how they feel.
Say aloud your own thoughts about how adversity can create bad things around you. For instance, when you drive your child to school in the morning and you have that driver that cuts you off, verbalize the connection between thoughts and feelings. Say to yourself why you might be feeling so angry. You are probably automatically thinking you are going to be late because this guy cut me off or is going slow.
4) Let your child know about evaluating thoughts that come automatically.
You also might have to accept that things you say to yourself may not be accurate all the time. After receiving a bad grade, your child may be saying to themselves that they don’t feel smart or they feel like a failure. These statements are more than likely not accurate, but at the same time automatic.
5) Teach the child about making more accurate explanations to any situation that comes before them.
When bad things do come, teach them to make those automatic thoughts but not ones that are inaccurate. Look for evidence to the contrary of the bad things your child are saying. For example, when they received that one bad test score on a bad day, show them all the other exams that they excelled on.
Make sure the child knows how to decatastrophize the situation. This can help them think optimistically about situations that come before them. Bad events may not be bad at all or have the consequences that they thought of. Very few things are actually as devastating as we imagine them to be, but they they are blown to proportions in our mind itself.
Model these optimism principles and watch how they affect your child in the future.