I've recently discovered something called the Big Life Journal - a growth-mindset tool to help raise happy, resilient kids. This week's topic is how to deal with negative outlooks, or as I like to call, "the Eeyore syndrome" for those Winnie the Pooh fans out there.
Be sure to check out the FREE download to create your own Jar of Awesome (see below).
Got other tips or tricks? Please share!
7 Powerful Ways to Respond When Your Child Complains
by Rebecca Louick June 28, 2018
Complaining and whining are two of the most frustrating things parents face. They are also completely normal. In fact, the average adult complains 30 times a day or 9 minutes total!
Kids complain for lots of good reasons: to blow off steam, to connect with us, and because they feel powerless. Other times, the complaints might mask an underlying emotion that needs to be released.
Whatever the cause, complaining and whining are opportunities to help our kids find better ways to express their feelings, and shift to a more positive mindset.
While it’s normal to vent sometimes, frequent complaining is not a healthy option.
Repeated complaining rewires your brain….Over time, you find it’s easier to be negative than to be positive, regardless of what’s happening around you. - Dr. Travis Bradberry
A study at Stanford University showed that complaining shrinks the hippocampus, an area of the brain necessary for problem-solving and emotion regulation.
Here are some strategies to help kids express their dissatisfaction in healthier, more positive ways.
Here's a fun activity for your home or classroom that will help you turn around the negativity and complaining. Get the free printable (see below), and create the Jar of Awesome by following instructions.
Whenever you need a little motivation or positivity boost, pick a piece of paper from the jar, read it, and celebrate YOUR awesome moments!
I believe we all want what's best for our kids and do our very best to provide them with the environment and opportunities to help them thrive. Many kids are lucky enough to be involved in extra-curricular activities including sports, drama, music and other hobbies. Through these activities, they learn valuable skills in self-discipline, teamwork, and stick-with-it-ness that will hopefully serve them well in their future endeavors.
That being said, if I could recommend families do only ONE thing to improve a their child's health, wellbeing and chances for success in the world, it would be the family meal.
It seems almost too simple or old-fashioned to be my go-to advice, but common sense and science agree that making time to sit down and for a meal together empowers children for:
- better academic performance
- higher self-esteeem
- greater sense of resilience
- improved social and communication skills
- lower risk of substance abuse
- lower risk of teen pregnancy
- lower risk of depression and suicide
- lower risk of developing eating disorders
- lower rates of obesity
- improved sense of belonging
Need some FREE & easy recipe ideas? Check out these One Pot Wonders from the Family Dinner Project. Slow cooker and Quick & Easy recipes from AllRecipes.
Kylie Vannaman MD is a Board-Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Kansas City who believes that trusting relationships and quality conversations are essential to providing outstanding primary care to one and all. Sign up today!
If you're like me, it's such a drag to get "Fine" as an answer to this classic dinnertime question. Luckily, I stumbled onto the brilliant folks over at Simple Simon & Company for some great suggestions on how to get a real conversation going and couldn't help but share their wisdom. Ready, set, go!
#1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
#2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.
#3. If you could choose who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
#4. Where is the coolest place at the school?
#5. Tell me a weird word that you heard today. (Or something weird that someone said.)
#6. If I called your teacher tonight what would she tell me about you?
#7. How did you help somebody today?
#8. How did somebody help you today?
#9. Tell me one thing that you learned today.
#10. When were you the happiest today?
#11. When were you bored today?
#12. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed up someone who would you want them to take?
#13. Who would you like to play with at recess that you’ve never played with before?
#14. Tell me something good that happened today.
#15. What word did your teacher say most today?
#16. What do you think you should do/learn more of at school?
#17. What do you think you should do/learn less of at school?
#18. Who in your class do you think you could be nicer to?
#19. Where do you play the most at recess?
#20. Who is the funniest person in your class? Why is he/she so funny?
#21. What was your favorite part of lunch?
#22. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow what would you do?
#23. Is there anyone in your class that needs a time out?
#24. If you could switch seats with anyone in the class who would you trade with? Why?
#25. Tell me about three different times you used your pencil today at school.
For their teen version, check out www.simplesimonandco.com
I've marked my top favorites in RED. These have been handy for for me in figuring out some of my son's class dynamics in new and entertaining ways.
Another dinnertime ritual that we do from time to time is for everyone around the table to share "3 Good Things" about their day. I find when we do this regularly, it helps build the habit of gratitude which gets us recognizing the "good things" in real time too!
Dr. Vannaman is a Board Certified Family Medicine Doctor in Kansas City who believes that trusting relationships and quality conversations are essential to providing outstanding primary care to one and all. Sign up today!
Don't forget about our upcoming Direct Primary Care for Business Event
Thursday August 25th from 5:30-7:30pm
at the Matt Ross Community Center at 81st & Metcalf in Overland Park.
Self-insured and small business owners encouraged to attend, EVERYONE welcome. Please RSVP & bring a friend!