How To Help Your Child Stop Negative Self-Talk
All children occasionally criticize themselves. However, if their inner voice consistently uses poor language towards them, it may have a negative impact.
Negative self-talk can take many forms. It can seem realistic, such as “I’m not that good at this, so I shouldn’t really bother trying it,” or it can sound outright cruel, like “I can never do anything right!”. It may appear to be a realistic assessment of a situation at hand (e.g., “I barely passed that test. I guess I’m really not good at math.”), but it can quickly turn into a terrible declaration (“I’ll probably fail this class and never get into university”).
This negative self-talk disrupts our children’s productivity and life goals. If they constantly have negative thoughts in their head throughout the day, these thoughts might make them feel disappointed, angry, helpless, or depressed.
Parents should take it seriously when negative self-talk becomes frequent and causes issues at school or with friends. Eliminating negative self-talk is one of the most critical mindset shifts you can make in your child’s life. Although everyone seems to understand the importance of this change, the majority of people still struggle with it.
Once you discover that your kids are engaging in this type of negative self-talk, you can learn how to immediately change the subject and help them focus on more uplifting ideas.
It may take some practice, but if you give it a little each day, you’ll start to see a good shift in your kids’ ideas and outlook on life.
So what can you do starting today to help halt negative self-talk? Here are some common ways a parent can use to break that cycle:
1. Take a long, deep breath
Children beat themselves up because they feel overwhelmed, have too much to do, or don’t know how to change their thoughts. If you know this is your child, do a deep breathing exercise with them.
- It helps them temporarily slow down their thought process. Also, help them realize that they are not in a position to change everything. Try to concentrate on the things you know you can control right now.
2. Acknowledge and accept one’s own thoughts
No matter what level the negative self-talk is at, it’s important to acknowledge it. It’s quite normal (and healthy) to have negative thoughts. Try not to ignore them. Instead, help your child understand that a change is necessary.
- For example, when your kids are feeling defeated, allow them to take a moment to give in to those feelings and realize that it’s normal to feel disappointed within themselves and in their abilities. Once a child has recognized their own feelings, they can release the thoughts that are weighing them down.
3. Identify the root cause
Take a minute to think about what’s driving the negative thoughts.
- Is your child’s complaints and negative self-talk caused by their failure to put their skills, talents, and abilities to use?
- For instance, if your child has excellent communication skills but keeps letting negative thoughts about themselves dominate them, it’s time to learn to harness their skills.
4. Creating a Routine
Help your kids build a pattern to enable them to spend less time, focus, and energy on negativity. The greatest method to get past these toxic feelings is to confront negative self-talk.
- They will have an easier time working through them if you, as a parent, help them wake up to a planned day with not much to think about with regards to how they are going to start the day. After all, negative self-talk causes unneeded stress that consumes children.
5. Make an effort to silence your child’s thoughts
Negative thoughts in children can be overcome by their minds on their own, but this is not what they want to accomplish. Parents must assist it in some way. Stop your kids as soon as you realize that they are ready to engage in negative self-talk.
- Make a deliberate effort to help them ignore the ideas and allow them to pass. The more you do this, the more you’ll help your child manage negative thoughts.
There’s nobody inside your head but you. Make your child realize that. Our mindset is the driving force behind all of our actions, so it’s imperative to learn how to shift our thoughts when negative self-talk begins.
If you want your child to be more positive, more confident, and, ultimately, more successful, you have to train their brain to think in a way that will motivate action. You have the power to change their lives by changing the way they think and feel about themselves.
The more you mindfully practice the technique above with your child, the easier it will be for you to squash negative self-talk when it pops up.
Did you find this article helpful? Check out our other parenting articles at the Confident Voice Studio blog.