7 Tips to Encourage a Positive Attitude in Students
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”—Norman Vincent Peale
Negative thinking is like a giant wall. It closes you in, keeps you from accomplishing goals, and blocks you from moving forward in life—whether it be learning, growing, or obtaining happiness. In the same way, negative thinking can hold a student back from his or her true potential. What’s one way to stop this from happening? By encouraging a positive attitude.
Parents can play a huge role in teaching their children how to think positive. In turn, those same parents can have a front-row seat to witness the amazing transformations that happen when students simply begin to believe in themselves.
Practical Tips to Inspire Optimism
We know for a fact that positive thinking has many physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Consider these strategies to inspire a positive attitude and teach your virtual school student how to think positive this year and beyond:
- Be an example. Model a positive, encouraging attitude in all that you say, do, and believe. Optimism is contagious. Positive thinking tends to breed positive results, and if your child sees positive results from your attitude, he or she is more likely to want to experience the same positive results. Show how optimism creates an ideal environment for happiness and how positivity influences the success rate of any goal you may have. Sometimes seeing is believing, and there’s no better model to show it than you.
- Create a positive learning space for your student. What better way to inspire optimism than ensuring that hopefulness is all around? As you create a home classroom bulletin board planner or decorate your child’s home workspace, pepper in some positive quotes to keep motivation high. Here is an A-to-Z list of positivity quotes you can use, or print some of these optimistic quotes for students on Pinterest. Another fun idea is to try this crafting activity that turns positive quotes into kitchen fridge magnets. A positive environment can do wonders for eliminating negativity and encouraging healthy thoughts as your student tackles new learning challenges and opportunities.
- Help your student visualize a positive outcome from every scenario before starting. It’s important to regularly plan goals with your student, and when doing so, clearly set the stage for what success looks like. How will it feel to accomplish the goal? What will the reward be? What does it mean to be successful? And why does it matter? Answering all of these questions can get your student excited about working toward the goal and will remind him or her of the positive outcomes to look forward to.
- Eliminate negative verbiage from your student’s dialogue. When you hear your student say “I can’t do it,” take a step back. Bring this negative verbiage to your child’s attention. Dive deeper into the meaning behind it. Ask questions. “Why can’t you do it?”; “What’s holding you back?”; “How can I help?”; “What do you need to be able to do it?” From there, lay out a plan to remove those barriers. Show your child that you are in this together, and together you can come up with a plan to turn “I can’t” into “We can.”
- Help your student change negative thinking patterns. As you bring negative words and thoughts to the attention of your student, make sure you’re encouraging him or her to replace the negativity with positivity. This popular method is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy, which is designed to change people’s thinking or behavioral patterns that are linked to certain difficulties. In this case the concept is simple: when you have a negative thought or reaction, notice it and replace it with a positive one. The more this occurs, the more positive your student’s thoughts, words, and actions will be.
- Play the role of your student’s biggest fan. As a parent or Learning Coach, your influence makes a big difference in your student’s levels of self-confidence. Your belief in your student can help him or her learn this sense of confidence and self-acceptance. Consider trying some of these self-acceptance activities to make your child aware of his or her unique strengths and weaknesses. In turn, your student can begin thinking positively, developing self-esteem, and celebrating his or her identity.
- Incorporate a rewards system to encourage positivity at all times. It’s not unusual for children to lack motivation to be positive, especially when dealing with a defeat or sense of failure. How can you teach them to improve their behavior during those negativity-drenched times? The answer may be a rewards system that provides positive reinforcement for optimism. Follow these steps to implement a rewards system for your student.
Being positive 24/7 is difficult for all of us, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try harder to maintain an optimistic attitude. How have you encouraged positivity in your student? What was the result of this encouragement? Share with us in the comments below!
Or if you are considering enrolling your child in an online education, learn more about Connections Academy®–supported online public schools today.