T for Think Positive

How to encourage your child to think positively

Parents ask me about positive thinking techniques to share with their children. They say they need help with their child’s behaviour. To do that we need to go ‘upstream’ of the behaviour to the thinking that causes what the child does. To do that we need to learn how to think more positively ourselves.

So this was all down to a conversation I had with a mum a couple of weeks ago. And she was telling me that her 10 year old daughter, something changed within the daughter and the daughter had gone from kind of happy going, positive, tiny, little girl to someone a little bit more withdrawn and was thinking negatively. And she couldn't change this. And that's what she was looking to do. She's looking to change the way that her child thought.

And what struck me is that I've been there. I've been that too, not only as a child, but as an adult. I've been in that place where I work a lot, where I was negative, where I was swinging quite a lot between positive and negative. I spent too much time in that negative time. And what became clear to me is that I didn't know how to do what I wanted to do I wanted to be more positive. 

And I wanted to think more positively, be more creative, be more productive and basically drive what I do forward. And my goal is to make kids happy, is to work with parents to make kids happy. So that's my goal and I wanted to be more positive about that. But I didn't know how. 

And this mum didn't know how, she wanted to change something within her child that she wasn't able to do and she was actually getting more and more negative about herself. Kids will do what we do, not what we say. And she was getting more and more negative about this. And kids will pick up on that and they have kind of BS meter in there, in that solar plexus in the picture that allows them to see through your lies or truth. So she couldn't do it, she wasn't a role model. She wasn't demonstrating, she wasn't being the positive force that she wanted her child to be. And she was really guilty about that. 

There’s no way she's going to be able to change the way her she thinks, no way she's going to be able to show her child the way to change, the way her daughter should change. So kids pick up on that, so a lot of my work although my work came from making kids be happy now and be confident, be courageous, think positively. Now it's shifting a little bit. It's shifting a little bit when it needs to, obviously only when it needs to. 

And it's about empowering the speaker, is becoming about empowering the parents. And if the parents are in that positive space, then obviously there's no challenge whatsoever. All I need to do is show the way, show my process, train the mums and dads in my process. But if the parent isn't coming from a good space, then they need to learn the new skills because it's a bit like- you wouldn't try learn French from somebody that didn't speak French. 

You wouldn't try and teach German if you didn't know how to speak German. So we're talking about language. Yeah, so when you know English, when English is studied in school they called it literacy for a while. And so this is about emotional literacy. So being able to change how we feel and the thoughts that drive those feelings because that's where thoughts only ever come from, inside us.

I was raised in a world, and I'm sure you were raised in a world, where we think that the weather determines our mood or miserable weather, where we think a traffic jam determines my mood. I had a horrible the journey into work. And this morning the traffic was a nightmare. Where we think other people determine our mood. ‘Oh, well, she said this to me and that's why I'm feeling so, so down.’ 

Feelings are an inside job. And they only ever come from our thoughts, despite the fact it looks like they come from the outside world. So this is about developing a child's emotional literacy. And to do that, for me to be able to do that, I had to change my own outlook myself. I can't teach children to think, couldn't teach children to think positively until I could do that myself. And neither can parents. It's as simple as that. 

So this is an interesting change in my business, taking all the stuff that I learned from my own kind of personal development and wrapping that up for parents and then wrapping the stuff that I learned with kids up. And it's a leap though, if you understand it's a leap, though, not to be affected by externals and to become resilient. 

Yeah, it is a leap. It's a leap, it's a leap, and it's a leap in our consciousness. It comes from when we see something new. When we see something different. When we have a new thought. We're stuck in our habitual thought until we see something different. And when I first knew that I was onto something with the kid stuff was when a little girl told me - this was the fourth workshop in schools, which was back in December 2013 - a session about helping children make their dreams come true. So empowering them to do what they needed to do, to be who they needed to be to make their dreams come true. Yeah. And we touched on ignoring negative people who say you can't make your dream come true. And we've made a little jump from ignoring negative people, the naysayers to what JK Rowling calls the dementors. To ignoring other kids bullying you, and this little girl told me how, because of what she'd learned on the little five minute parts of the 40 minute workshop that I'd done on bullying and my experience of bullying, she's had the leap in her consciousness. And the leap in her conscious meant that she could go back to dance class. 

The other girls that were picking on her because she was too good at dancing weren't going to upset her anymore. It's a leap in our mind. It's a leap in our heart, it's a leap in our in our bones. It's something that we get in the bones when we see something new for the first time. And the leap that I've had in my consciousness, actually about 5 o'clock this morning, is that I need to help you. As parents, you have leaps in your own consciousness. That's the message of hope. So if you have leaps in your consciousness, then you're going to be able to point your child to leaps in their consciousness and that is the way that we progress. 

And whether we have that sudden moment where everything comes together, we can ride a bike, whether we have that singular breakthrough, when we realise something that we thought was impossible is now possible when we have that breakthrough moment, when we realise that feelings are an inside job that only ever come from the inside. They don't come from the outside, despite the fact it looks 100% like they come from the outside.