With school back in session in many parts of the country, it might be necessary to tweak our child’s attitude. After all, going from a life of leisure to the rigors of the classroom can be a bit jarring.
According to our counselors here at Focus, a common motivation for a child’s negativity is simply to get attention. If you suspect this is your child’s goal, there are a few ways to teach him or her not to complain.
1. Don’t reward his negative behavior
When he starts to grumble, tell him you’re sorry he feels that way. Then go about your business. Don’t obsess over it.
2. Reinforce a positive outlook
If your child shows the slightest enthusiasm, give him a smile, praise him, and let him know how much you appreciate his upbeat attitude. It’s good to catch our children doing some right.
3. Dig Deeper
If attention doesn’t seem to be driving your child’s mood swings, you’ll need to start asking questions. It could be he’s experiencing the normal ups and downs of childhood. Or he may be learning his negative attitude from friends or an older sibling.
There could also be a significant life change influencing him, such as stress in the family or a new trouble at school. If none of these issues seems relevant, you may need the insight of a professional to see if depression is playing a role. Remember to ask open-ended, not yes or no questions.
We’re here to help! To speak with one of our counselors please call us at 1-800-232-6459.