“Our life is what our thoughts make it” – Marcus Aurelius
Our thoughts, or rather, the way we think, have a remarkable impact on our everyday lives and wellbeing.
Don’t believe me?
Who do you think would be most successful?
- The person who believes they can achieve anything, become whomever they want, and follows up with swift action, or:
- The person who complains about anything is indifferent about everything and gets nothing done out of feelings of hopelessness.
But whilst our thoughts may influence our lives in the present, our perspective influences our thoughts in the first place.
The power of a positive perspective
“Always look on the bright side of life” – Monty Python
No matter how bad or ugly a situation, some people are always able to see the positive side.
They don’t have some superhuman power. And they’re certainly not being inappropriate.
Rather, they are simply viewing the situation from an angle which makes them feel empowered.
Depending on our perspective, we will unconsciously choose to exclude some aspects, and hone in on others. Just like a photographer chooses what he/she frames in a picture, and what they leave out.
This is because everything in life is relative. If we believe something to be bad, it’s because we’re comparing it to something we think is better.
People who view life with a positive perspective – the glass-half-full crowd – are experts in reframing a situation in a positive light. They look for the positive in the negative.
And those who approach life with a negative perspective – the glass half-empty crowd – subconsciously hone in on the negative aspects, often failing to see the positive.
This is why it’s important to promote positive perspective from a young age. But it’s not something that can be adopted overnight. It takes practice.
Equipping your child with a positive perspective
When you equip your child with a positive perspective, you’re setting them up for a happy and successful life. A way of thinking which helps them overcome life’s hurdles and make good decisions, even when the chips are down.
Children have such an amazing ability to learn. They’re babies one day, and the next they’re learning language and life skills at an astonishing rate. This gives us, as parents, a very important and sometimes overwhelming duty: to teach our children every day the power of a positive perspective.
There are many things you can do each day to foster a positive perspective in your kids. Keep the following tips in mind:
- Lead by example. From a young age, your kids pick up on more than you know. While you may live by the notion that you should always put your kids first, you also have to concentrate on your own self-development. Because, when you think positively, so will your kids.
- Watch your reactions. Just as with leading by example, you must watch your reactions, especially when things go awry. If you learn some bad news, fight the urge to have a negative reaction. Where possible, try to reframe it in a positive light and don’t yell or outwardly worry.
- Teach your children that sometimes things don’t turn out the way we’d hoped for, but eventually, the tides will turn.
- Find the silver lining in challenges. As your children learn and develop, they’ll be faced with all sorts of challenges. Some of them will be easy, while others are more challenging. Be sure to point out the silver lining in any challenge your child may face. It’ll help them to see your point of view when they’re facing challenges alone.
- Help them change their thinking. When your child is in the midst of a tough challenge, he or she might be tempted to give up. Use you wisdom to judge whether their situation is worth persisting with, and if it is, offer encouragement and motivation. Perhaps there’s an angle to the problem that your child hasn’t tried yet.
- Nudge them in the right direction until they find the success they seek.
- Promote laughter. Laughter breeds happiness and positive feelings. Play into your child’s humorous side by promoting situations that your child finds funny.
- You can play games, go to shows, or simply have a good time together as a family.
- Share the Love. Let them know they make a positive difference in your life and love them unconditionally.
A Happy Healthy Home
When you remember to treat your kids in a calm and loving manner, they’ll be more likely to do the same. If your child tends to panic, don’t scold them for this behaviour. Put them at ease as best as you can and show them that there’s a solution to their problem. If you panic, the situation may spiral into an unhealthy cycle.
In the end, there’s no right or wrong way to raise your kids. Do what’s best for your family in the way you know how. When you maintain a happy and healthy home, your children will learn to have hope and think positively!
We can’t shield them from all the stones and arrows life throws but we can give them the tools to stay above the fray.