Of the many important jobs you have as a parent, helping your kids to develop a healthy and positive attitude can perhaps be one of the most challenging. You want them to be able to understand the world beyond them and to be grateful for the things they have, but how to go about instilling that mindset can leave many parents with more questions than answers.
So how do you do this? Open, honest communication and asking your kids leading questions is a great place to start. This will allow them to open up and think critically about ideas, and you get to learn more about what makes them fantastically unique.
Here are a few questions you can ask to help get the conversation going.
- What are some things you know how to do that you can teach others? This question helps your child understand that their unique gifts and abilities are something that can benefit others. Life isn’t always about what others can do for us, after all. Life is a give and take. This also encourages your child to acknowledge what makes them special and will help grow their self-confidence.
- What is the best and the worst experience you’ve ever had? We’d all like life to be sunshine and unicorns all the time, but it just isn’t so. The sooner kids learn this, the better prepared they will be to handle life’s highs and lows. This will also help them to realize that the bad stuff doesn’t last forever, and to appreciate the lessons they learn from those hardships.
- What are you grateful for? This question gets your kids to thinking about how much they have in their lives. Get them to think beyond material possessions. An attitude of gratitude has been shown to increase happiness, so ask this one often. Gratitude isn’t just for Thanksgiving!
- How would you change the world? This question could let your kids get really creative! This encourages your child to think of themselves as problem-solvers and to see every new day as a new opportunity to make a difference, large or small.
- How can you help someone today? This question takes your child’s focus off themselves and helps them understand that pain, sickness and bad things happen to the people around them every day. What can they do to help alleviate someone’s suffering? Giving has been shown to increase our feel-good feelings, and that’s something we all need more of in our lives!
- What do you think your future will be like? Again, this question can spark a lot of creative answers! Not only does this question get your kid to think about what they want to be when they get older, but it also gives them a chance to think about what the world will be like for them as adults. Their answer can help you think about the ways in which you can help guide them toward their dreams.
By: Jennifer Green via Macaroni Kids Pittsburgh