Dealing with negativity from a parent or child can affect the whole household, but parents can work together to foster a more positive environment for everyone. Changing a family's attitude can take a long time. Family counseling services may also be able to advise families learning how to communicate in a positive manner with one another.
Causes of Negativity in Parents
Figuring out what underlies a negative attitude can keep it from coming back. Parents dealing with a negative attitude in themselves can prevent children from adopting a negative outlook. Troubles with bills, relationship problems, family, illness or work are common sources of frustration and stress. Ignoring or leaving a problem unresolved can cause a parent to adopt a negative attitude. Make a list of what leaves you feeling stressed or upset. Knowing what causes the problem can be half the problem.
Causes of Negativity in Children
Look in the mirror, Mom and Dad -- if Junior is often grumpy, he may have learned it by observing you or another relative. Negativity may also appear in children who are suffering from depression or low self-esteem. Talk to your kids -- older children may be able to explain what's causing bitterness or negativity. Friendships, problems with teachers, work, or life events like a move, divorce or death could contribute to a child's negativity. Some children may be more negative than others by nature, but parents can still encourage children to adopt a more positive approach to life.
Solving a Parent's Negativity
Keep conscious of what you say and how you say it, and make an effort to focus on the positive in every situation. Learning to focus on how to solve a problem, rather than fixating on anger or resentment caused by a problem, can lead to a better outcome for everyone involved. Incorporate a healthy diet and regular exercise into your lifestyle, which can help you manage stress and combat negativity. Take a proactive approach to problem-solving; communicate your stresses to others to keep resentment from building. A therapist or counselor can also help family members adopt a more positive outlook.
Helping Children with Negativity
Life can be complicated -- even for the youngest members of the household. If your child insults her abilities, you might say, "Your teacher and I think you do well in school. Spelling is a challenge for you, but we will work on that together." Applaud your child's effort, even if the outcome is not ideal. Give your kids plenty of love, attention and encouragement to boost self-esteem, and make an effort to listen to their problems. If your child throws a tantrum when she is angry, avoid yelling at her to stop. Say to her, "I can see you are upset. Talking it out instead can help us solve what is bothering you."
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