By Teachers, For Teachers
According to psychological research, our feelings are in response to our thoughts and beliefs. When we feel stressed out, we think and believe that we don’t have the skills to deal with the situation. In order to cope with this frustration, it is our perception that is the key.
When we think positively, we expect a good outcome, and we expect this favorable outcome because we persevere. Positive thoughts are conducive to the way we see things.
On the other hand, negative thoughts bring us down and we doubt our abilities and criticize ourselves. It’s not easy to see the positive things in life, especially for children. Teaching children at a young age to be positive can have a huge impact on the way they look at life. Being able to turn a negative thought into a positive one is an essential coping skill that children will be able to use the rest of their lives. One simple way to teach children positive thinking is by discussing the topic through fun activities. Here are a few teaching strategies that demonstrate positivity.
This classroom activity is a great way for your students to learn about the different attitudes that people have, and how being positive is the one that they should always have. Start by telling students that they are going to be taking an attitude inventory. For younger students, you can explain that it’s much like taking an inventory at a store to find out what is there and what isn’t there. Give students a chalkboard (or a piece of paper) and have them answer the following questions one at a time. After each question, allow students to hold up their chalkboards and ask them to discuss their answers. Be sure to tell them that when they are answering not to make any judgments of their peers, and to choose answers that will not hurt anyone’s feelings.
By having students take an attitude inventory you are allowing them to see and learn how they view themselves and their problems, as well as their peers. You will be able to see if students are blaming others for the way they look at things, or themselves. This activity is a great starting point for teaching positivity in your classroom.
Turning the Negative into a Positive Activity
Now that students have a glimpse into how they view themselves (positive or negative) you can teach them how they can turn their negative thinking into a positive. Here’s how to start:
-How do I feel about this problem?
-What will happen if I don’t solve this problem?
-How can I change my negative attitude into a positive attitude to solve this problem?
-What will happen once this problem is solved?
By offering students opportunities to practice positivity, you are helping them develop a positive attitude which can make a world of difference in their lives. Be reshaping their negative attitudes into positive ones, you are giving them the tools that will help contribute to their overall well-being.
How do you encourage your students to be a positive person? Do you incorporate positivity into your classroom community? Please share with us in the comment section below, we would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.