We all have the tendency to overblow, overreact, and feel overwhelmed when things don’t go our way and when daily hassles start to add up.
Kids are resilient and can bounce back from much more than simply a bad day, but over time, that negative self-talk can become an unhealthy pattern.
How do we respond to our kids when they say:
I’m the worst ever.
I hate this.
I’m terrible at ________.
This is the worst day ever!
You’re the worse mom/dad ever!
How do we help our kids learn to overcome instead of overblowing?
Turn Your Child’s Negative Self-Talk into Self-Kindness
1. Empathize With Their Struggle
We all have bad days and whether our kids realize it or not it’s pretty normal for them to feel this way.
This quote from Rebecca Eanes always comes into my head when I feel annoyed with my son’s bad day or bad moments:
“So often, children are punished for being human. They are not allowed to have grumpy moods, bad days, disrespectful tones, or bad attitudes. Yet, we adults have them all the time. None of us are perfect. We must stop holding our children to a higher standard of perfection than we can attain ourselves.”
So, say “Yeah, that hurts when you step on a Lego doesn’t it?” or “Yeah, math problems are especially hard to figure out when you’re tired.”
Or simply just — “Yep, that’s hard.”
Acknowledge their pain, their hurt, their stress, their struggle. And then normalize it.
2. Normalize “Bad Days”
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