When raising kids, one of the biggest themes I see is teaching them kindness. We focus on what our children are saying and teach them to keep their thoughts to themselves. We've all heard the old adage - If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all. This is all good advice. We shouldn't say unkind things to people. But the bigger picture is to train ourselves to not even think that way at all.
What If Everybody Thought that? takes a look at the way we think as children (and adults!) Do we think positive or uplifting? Do we go right to the negative. There are real life examples of situations in this book that show how the negative thinking is really a bad path. One example is a gym class of boys playing basketball and one is much tinier than the others. Little thought bubbles above the other classmates "think" about how he is too small, he will never make the shot. But then you turn the page and the little guy is great at dribbling and even making the shot. Those negative thoughts were wrong. What if they had thought positively - He works hard, I bet he is fast... changing the narrative in their heads.
Why is this important? Having negative thoughts breeds more negativity. Eventually that narrative turns inwards and affects your own self-esteem. Like a dog can be trained to sit, you can train your brain to gravitate towards more positive thinking by working towards that goal. So, what can we do as parents? We can open that conversation with our children with tools like the book What If Everybody Thought That? and use this teaching tool to work on affirmative thinking. I know that this book opened my eyes and as a pretty big pessimist I've already been working on controlling my tongue, the next step will be to work on inner reflections. I'm looking forward to seeing the spark of change in my children's way of thinking too!
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