Learning Optimistic Thinking
In his book, The Optimistic Child: A Proven Program to Safeguard Children Against Depression and Build Lifelong Resilience, Martin Segilman writes about the link between pessimistic thinking and depression. This is an excellent read for parents who notice pessimistic thinking in themselves or their child. Segilman writes about how to train children (and ourselves) to recognize pesimistic thinking and change it to more accurately reflect reality.
The printable below summarizes the three P's of pessimistic thinking from The Optimistic Child. Counselor Emma teaches lessons on optimistic thinking to 4th and 5th graders. Following up with the concept at home can help solidify the learning.
Developing a Positive Attitude
Most people of all ages need some intentional practice of optimistic thinking in order to counterbalance the part of our brain that notices problems.
One way to bridge the 2 hemispheres of the brain is to play a fun game called Fortunately, Unfortunately. It's a favorite for all ages and you're sure to have some laughs as you play. Click here for directions on how to play Fortunately, Unfortunately. I will often play this game when I'm working with students who seem to be "stuck" in their pessimistic thinking. It always amazes me how a short round of this game positively affects their attitude and broader thinking that they can apply to their problem solving.
Big Life Journal is a company that produces materials for parents and educators to help teach kids a positive growth mindset. I recommend subsribing to their email list as they send at least one freebie printable a week and loads of good information. Below is one of the freebies I received from them.
Click here for a helpful article, 7 Ways to Help Your Child Develop a Positive Attitude.