America's heads are still reeling from the Sandy Hook tragedy. The morning news shows during peak coverage featured experts detailing psychological profiles, weighing in on what happened that day. Radio and television talk shows advised us on how we can protect our children and teach them how to bounce back from tragedies.
Of all the shows that I tuned into during Sandy Hook , it was a guest that GeorgeStephanopoulos interviewed that had me running for my pen and paper to take notes. I never did get his name--I remember he was a child psychiatrist--but he had golden words of wisdom. Brilliant enough, that I am sharing them here.
Building Optimism in children's lives, teaching our children this skill, is crucial to survival. Optimisim frames hope, it knocks despair and hopelessness and negative thinking aside for possible positive outcomes.Optimism, or a positive outlook, reduces stress and promotes peace of mind. We can encourage our children to adopt ways to reframe their thinking when faced with challenges, even when they are in bouts of depression.
1, Teach your children to communicate. Model this by you yourself coming to them, reigning in your emotions, when approaching sensitive or difficult topics. Always keep the lines of communication open by reminding your children you are there to guide them and help them steer their course. Let them know, tell them often, they are not alone in their struggles.
2. Treat your children with respect and kindness. Compliment them, comment on their good behavior, tell them you love them. A hug, a kiss on the cheeck, a gentle arm around their shoulder--all of these methods bring surges of reassurance to the bewildering years of growing up.
3. Teach your children that disappointments and set backs are part of life and TEMPORARY. Give examples from your own life of what you have overcome, and how perseverance and positive self talk helped you find your way back to a successful state of mind.
4. Let your children see you set aside your needs for theirs. Listen to them without interruption and without multi tasking on other things. Show them compassion and support, remind them again and again, they are not alone in their struggles.
We only have our children for a short while, work on strengthening emotional connections by having your children see just how much you value them.