It is crazy how children of 10 and 12 years old have such a negative attitude towards situations already. This begs the question of who could have pushed them out of a world where everything is possible to a limited and limiting one. Any ideas?
“My teacher will not understand anyway … She never listens … I’m bad at math … No, but, Mom, that’s not possible … She will never agree … It’s too difficult for me … “
I have found myself in situations where I was stunned because of how negative my children are sometimes. I noticed that their first reaction is often the opposite of positive and does not take a fortunate outcome into consideration.
I would like to dig a bit deeper and try to figure out where those negativity trends are coming from, but I am afraid the answer is going to be right in front of my nose. It’s us, adults, parents, teachers, modern society, who are responsible.
At this point, do we consider that everything is possible and that the world offers us all we dream of?
Let’s admit it, all that is true. And it starts when they are babies and are just starting to grasp objects to which we naturally react to with “no”.
I plead guilty, I was one of those moms who would say “no” all the time. Of course, there is the “No! Danger!” one that warns them and protects them from harm, but there also is the “No, it’s not happening” which is frankly used more often to protect our own comfort and well-being. It is rather for us than for our children.
Oh, if only I had discovered yoga and all his beautiful teachings earlier …
I always admired a friend of mine who raised her son without the “no” connotation. She was acting in a very conscious way, as she used the “No! Danger!” one only, and for all other situations she included some tips and tricks to convey the message gently and creatively without using the negative connotation.
You may say then that the “no” is necessary because frustration is part of learning how to deal with life and also because it will naturally serve them through a lot of difficulties, as it is better to be prepared for them.
A quick question. How do you feel when you’re told no? I think most of us do not find it very pleasant. The “no” sparks a whole range of emotions often related to the past, our personal experiences and etc. It is not great to hear neither for us nor for children and inevitably leads to a feeling of frustration.
So, I’m not talking about not saying “no” to our children and making them little all-powerful beings who have no limits and will become arrogant and persecuting adults. It is simply a question of measuring the number of times we use “no” and testing out more creative techniques.
For the little ones, technique number 1 is ,of course, distraction – “Oh, did you see the pretty dog over there?”, “What song is this one?”. It is therefore a question of diverting their attention towards something other than their desire in this precise moment. By distracting them, you become experts in it and are able to deal with situations with more ease.
All those who have children and have had the pleasure of meeting the famous period of the “Terrible two” where children test our limits with great perseverance, know very well that the more we forbid them the more they insist on doing xyz. I am currently preparing myself for my children’s adolescence, as it seems that this is my and your second chance to improve on the wrongs done during those “terrible two”…
While waiting for these explosive years, I am training myself in other techniques because clearly the distraction does not work when children become older. I am trying a coaching-inspired method and work on reducing the number of times I say no. Every situation where the “no” would be a common answer, I reply to their request with an open question, one such as: “Who with?” “When?” “Why?” or simply ask them to elaborate.
And I must say that it works pretty well. This technique allows us to engage in a dialogue. It allows the child to express and discuss this need it has and gives me the natural opportunity to express mine as well. We find ourselves in a more egalitarian situation where we all together can move towards finding a solution.
To come back to their tendency towards negativity, I am simply trying to be a positive role model for them. I put their limiting beliefs to the challenge by telling them about a world full of potentialities and solutions to all problems. Miraculously, it helps me gradually eliminate my own negative tendencies too.
I openly talk to my children about the beautiful philosophies that I have discovered – the law of attraction, positive affirmations, the inner strength that drives and guides us. Sometimes they look at me as if I were a goof ball, but believe me, in moments of difficulty, moments of pain, I see that they are receptive and happy to learn my techniques of keeping calm and collected.
Our children are facing an unfair world of tomorrow and it is more important than ever to help them develop a positive mindset, in order to recreate a world where life is good, a world where everything is possible.