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Parenting Formula: Helping Kids Choose Positive Attitudes over Negative Thoughts

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Can parents help kids turn around negative thoughts? Absolutely! If you'd like to change boiling, gloomy, or anxious mindsets into upbeat thinking, keep reading.

People who walk under a dark cloud can't see the sunshine in their lives. They focus on what's wrong not what's right. They don't notice when skies are clear. If children make such thinking a habit, they may grow to be sad, mad, or fearful adults. This doesn't need to happen.

Since we all think negatively from time to time, try this formula on yourself first. As your feelings become brighter, notice how you changed them. Talk to your kids about how the formula worked for you. Then teach them the method.

Why Black Attitudes Cause Problems

If we don't take charge of dark thoughts, they can create feelings like:


1. Anger
2. Misery
3. Sadness
4 . Guilt
5. Fear

When we nurture such feelings with self-pity talk, they'll bring us down. People who indulge in such thoughts and feelings repel family, friends, and acquaintances. A toxic mind is a heavy burden for everyone.

The Formula for Choosing Positive Attitudes over Negative Thoughts

This formula can help you take charge of your self-talk. Use it to overcome negative thinking. Here's what to do:


1. Acknowledge your feelings and express their intensity by tightening your body.
2. Determine the thoughts behind your feelings.
3. Release the upset by relaxing your body and saying the following formula.



I choose not to think…
I choose to think…

Here's an example of how to use the formula:

Let's say your friends are coming to dinner and the house is a mess. The children are nowhere to be found. As you move from cleaning to cooking, you become grumpier and grumpier.


1. Identify your feelings. ‘I'm angry.' Feel the anger by tightening your body.
2. Determine your thoughts. ‘The kids ran out just when I needed their help. I have to do everything. Nobody appreciates me.'
3. Choose to change your mood and your ideas by loosening your body and saying:

I choose not to think these self-pity thoughts.

I choose to think about decorating the table and enjoying my friends.

Every time your mind bounces back to the grumpy ideas, repeat your choices. Stay in charge.

One more thing, you could decide to save the cleanup for the kids

How to Teach this Method to Your Children

Notice when they are ill-tempered. Ask, "What are you feeling?"

When they're in a better mood, discuss how they could be in charge of their thoughts. Explain why disturbing views can turn into habits and hurt them throughout their lives. Assure them that they can choose a sunnier mindset. Then do the following:


1. Share the formula.
2. Explain how you used it to clear your mind and feel better.
3. Advise them to stop self-pity talk and choose healthier thoughts.
4. Role-play using the formula to overcome their negative thoughts.
5. Post the formula on the fridge for the whole family to practice.

Conclusion for Using the Parenting Formula

Negative viewpoints are easy to foster. They can take over our minds without our noticing. When we feel out of sorts, we can trace those feelings back to our self-talk. We can manage our thoughts by saying, "I choose not to think…I choose to think…"

Teach this method to your children because a positive mind is a joy to own. If you do, you'll be raising happier children and an upbeat family. You'll be building character too.

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Jean Tracy invites you to sign up for her FREE Parenting Newsletter and receive:

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Pick up the Thought-Stopping Kit for teaching your children how to become positive thinkers. Start today!

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