Here are some ways to free children from negative thinking and steer them away from destructive self-talk.
#1 Lend an ear
It’s important to pay attention to the language your child uses because there are some essential beliefs you can either change or prevent altogether. Instead of brushing off negative comments from your child as silly or unrealistic, validate their concerns and try to find out what is going on and why he feels like he does.
#2 Be the voice of reason
Instead of trying to oppose your child’s negative self-talk with overly positive thinking, experts recommend offering a more realistic approach. Try to contextualize their experience and offer broader perspectives about their concerns. This will help them identify specifically what made them make the self-critical statement and then work through what the reality of the situation really is.
#3 Model healthy self-talk
Since kids pick up cues from parents, be careful not to worry aloud about your own perceived shortcomings, such as your weight. Also, be on the lookout for valuable teaching moments for when you do slip and make a negative comment. So if you make a mistake and in the moment you blurt out that you aren’t very good at the subject at hand, go on to then offer the realistic, more positive reframing of that statement.
source: “How to help kids who are too hard on themselves,” childmind.org
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