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How to Change Negative Attitudes in Children

A negative attitude in a child can affect his development, social interaction and daily functioning. While a downcast mood is bound to happen sometimes, an overall, “I don’t want to” attitude in a little one is well, depressing. After all, if he has trouble coping with preschool obstacles, how will he thrive as life gets more challenging? It’s time to help your grumpy girl or boy turn that frown upside down. If you focus on these tips for helping your kiddo with his coping skills, his life and yours will seem more manageable.

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Ask yourself why your tot is so negative. Your miserable munchkin is presented with a new situation, such as his first per-wee soccer practice, and says, “I can’t do this.” Could it be that he has low self-esteem? As KidsHealth.org points out, “Kids with low self-esteem can find challenges to be sources of major anxiety and frustration.” But as the parent, you can help your little one feel better about himself and improve his attitude.

Modeling

Make sure your attitude is one you want your kiddo to emulate. KidsHealth.org recommends being careful about what you say. Muttering, “Ugh, my butt looks fat in these jeans,” is not a good way to help your tot develop a positive attitude about herself or the world around her. Accentuate the positive, both about yourself and your daily life. Be sure to say things like, “I love when we spend time together at the park!” Or, “Don’t we both look nice today in our new summer clothes?”

Quality Time

HealthyChildren.org notes that if you spend quality time with your tot, he won’t use negative behavior to get your attention. Crying, whining and yelling doesn’t exactly put you in the mood to whistle Dixie. You see, it’s a vicious cycle: you don’t pay enough attention to junior, he uses negative tactics to command your ear, you get exasperated and show him the wrong way to deal with problems. The obvious solution is to carve out more quality time with your sweetie.

Life Isn’t Perfect

Even at a young age, kids need to understand they will suffer disappointments. Your little one may not be invited to every birthday party, she may get sick and miss the ballet recital. The key is to help her deal with these challenges in a positive way. When your downcast darling says, “Everyone hates me,” or “I never get what I want,” point out that this is not the case. Remind her of the five other birthday parties she attended recently. “Honey, everyone got the flu this year.”

Bring Out the Best

The Ask Dr. Sears website advises parents to set their kids up for success. For instance, if ballet brings a smile to your bummed out babe, foster this interest. Likewise, if soccer makes your sweetie sad, allow her to try something else. It’s also essential to surround your little one with little friends who bring out the best in her, not the worst.

Praise

If your sour sweetie has a hard time seeing the bright side of life, work on boosting her self-confidence. “You did a great job on your coloring page.” Or, “Mommy loved watching you ride your bike.” Praising your tot has an enormous effect on his self-worth, which is directly linked to his attitude.

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