Step Balance Pessimistic Talk

Cynical kids can seem as if they're trapped in pessimistic thinking patterns and can see only the downward side of any situation. As the habit becomes more prominent, they often blow negative happenings out of proportion and downplay the importance of positive ones. One way to thwart your child's pessimistic thinking is by providing a more balanced perspective. If you use the strategy enough, your kid will use it to help counter his own inner pessimistic talk. Here are three examples that show you how:

• Your younger child won't go to her friend's birthday party because she thinks no one likes her. Offer a more balanced view:"If Sunny didn't like you, you'd never have been invited."

• Your older kid didn't make the soccer team and believes "everyone" thinks she's a bad player. Counter her comment: "I know you're disappointed, but remember that at least half of those kids know you're a good athlete in other sports such as skiing and roller-blading."

• Your daughter blows her first math exam exclaiming that she's stupid and can never do anything right.You say: "I see how upset you are, but nobody can be good at everything. You're good in history and art. Meanwhile, let's figure out a way to help improve your math."

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