Your Thoughts and You Change Your World:
Teaching Kids the Art of Productive Thinking
By Sally Sacks
we think our thoughts are just there, immovable with no room for
change. It is important as parents to teach your kids that they
run their mind, and they can pick and choose their thoughts. You
want to teach kids to choose thoughts that are productive vs. non
think non productive thoughts all the time and often believe their
thoughts. But their thoughts, just like adults can be negative and
self defeating and we as parents need to know how to help kids change
and manage non productive thoughts. Thinking stems from learning,
and random energy that can often produce scary or negative thoughts.
A child is afraid to sleep in her bed at night due to scary thoughts
about monsters. A child may think someone is going to break into
a child is sad, and doesn't know how to leave that thought behind
when they need to. Remember thoughts hook up to feelings, so if
your thoughts are negative and self defeating your feelings will
be upset, depressed etc. The art of thinking is such an important
gift to offer your child because successful leaders are produced
by the way that they think.
best way to teach your child how to think productively is to do
it yourself. If as a parent you make a mistake, are disappointed
by an outcome, or want to change something in yourself, take a positive
look at it. If you criticize yourself, or others, your children
will learn how to do that as well. Remember children live what they
learn. They copy us as parents. We are their early mirrors. If your
children have learned positive thinking from you, they will let
you know. They will tell you that they love you, and that you are
a good parent, Children are very wise. They can spot effective parenting
when they see it.
example, you can teach your children that the mind is capable of
thinking anything, even things that are stupid, untrue about you
and silly. You are the captain of your mind and decide what is a
worthwhile thought that you want, and what is unwanted and therefore
non productive. Ask yourself, "Who is driving the bus, your
thoughts or you?" "You are" is the correct answer,
and true answer. Teach your kids how to think positively and they
example, Laura told herself how bad she was at team sports, and
how no one would ever want her on the team. Her mom told her she
was pretty good at soccer, but she denied it disregarding mom's
remark as trying too hard. Mom continued praising her at some other
things she tried, while Laura's mind forcefully rejected every compliment.
Mom needed to stop and find a way to teach Laura how to talk to
herself in a kinder more productive way even if she wasn't the best
player. Even if mom makes suggestions and Laura rejects them, she
will still hear the positive message. .
when kids are engaging in negative self talk to listen to their
feelings but explain to them how the mind works and what kind of
thinking would advance them in their life rather than hinder them.
This is how thinking can work for us or against us.
need to show children the need to manage their thinking. If they
don't their crazy or non productive thoughts will manage them, and
they will not experience freedom to be in the here and now, without
trying to predict the future or dwelling on the past.
other important thing in teaching productive thinking to kids is
to teach them how words affect their mood. For example if I say
that I am so depressed I lost the game or that my friend was mean
to me, I am lost in negativity. But if I use a word like disappointed,
it has less power to depress me. If I say that I can't do something
I am absolutely paralyzed, but if I say it may be tough and a challenge,
but that I can do it, I am much more open to optimistic thoughts
conclusion know that there is an art to thinking. You must help
your children find ways to talk to themselves that gear them toward
success, and coping with the many failures and mistakes that they
will make along the way. Teach kids that when they choose their
own thinking they rule their world.
Sally Sacks, M.Ed is a licensed psychotherapist, with 20 years of
experience, counseling individuals, children, families and couples.
Sally is the author of How to Raise the Next President, a groundbreaking
parents' guide to teaching and instilling in their kids the qualities
they'll need to be happy, successful and productive, no matter which
path they choose in life. Sally offers personal and group coaching
and can be reached through her website at www.sallysacks.com.
information presented on this site is intended solely as a general
educational aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for
any individual problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional
advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar
with your unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician
or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical
condition and before starting any new treatment.