Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Glass is Half Empty

Usually, when I talk about this idea I use the phrase, "Is the glass half empty or half full.”  Today, I’m talking about parenting a child with neurological differences.  When dealing with this child, it’s almost always characterized by a “half empty” attitude.  This type of negativity is a challenge for a parent and others who are close to this child.

When negativity comes, what are some strategies that may help?  
  1. Model a positive mindset when speaking with your child. Be conscious of the choice of words used even in more negative situations.
  2. Motivate your child by suggesting more positive ways of communicating.  It may be necessary to give the child a phrase or two that he can pick instead of the negative phrase that is his “go to phrase.”
  3. Encourage more positive phrases by allowing your child to earn incentives by using phrases and exhibiting “the glass is half full” attitude.
  4. Use verbal praise when the child has the attitude and verbal response that is a move in the right direction.

This is a slow process to retrain a child to give up a negative way of looking at the world.  It is two-fold.  After the negativity is diminished, it needs to be replaced by a positive attitude and words.  It may be a long process but the sooner it’s begun the sooner progress can be seen.