How To Use Good Thoughts To Raise Positive Children
There is an old Tamil proverb that roughly translates to, “Think good thoughts and good things will happen to you.”
When I was a child, my mom would say this to me constantly, and I always did think good thoughts, simply because my young mind was scared of what would happen if I ever thought about bad things.
We are raising children in a world where climate change, violence, destruction, and negativity are constant buzzwords. Children have access to daily news and are aware of these issues. Therefore, fostering a positive environment and being aware of a child’s mental health is of vital importance.
According to the World Health Organisation, 10-20% of children and adolescents experience mental disorders. According to Bengaluru’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, almost one out of five Indian adolescents suffers from a form of mental morbidity. Anxiety, adjustment issues, anger management issues are all on the rise among school kids, warn doctors.
The dire need for positivity and good, inspiring thoughts especially for children is essential. Helping a child make positive thoughts part of their being is vital in raising well-adjusted, confident, and happy adults for tomorrow. It reduces feelings of stress and anxiety and prepares them to look at even negative events in a positive manner.
Adults also go through long periods of feeling unmotivated and unable to rise up to complete a task. It is at these moments that we look towards a muse or hope for inspiration to strike. So, why not look to positive and motivational thoughts and be inspired by the stories of great people before us?
As parents, we find ourselves ‘lecturing’ our kids about everything from cleanliness to school performance, and we know just how they react. A strong, thought-provoking quote will definitely work a lot better than a long lecture and what’s more, will remain with them for life.
Here are some simple ways to make good thoughts part of your daily routine for kids.
Good Thoughts For Kids
1. Positive affirmations and meditation
Start your day with a positive attitude. You could teach your child to enjoy the present moment by meditating or by thinking beautiful thoughts. Teach them about positive affirmations and the strength of believing in phrases like, I am strong, I am happy, I am able to achieve what I really want.
Prayers are a wonderful way for kids to spend some quiet time and think about who their prayers can help. You could teach them to include extended family and friends in their prayers and explain how thinking of someone going through a tough phase will actually send them positive energy.
3. Thought for the day
Pick an inspiring thought or quote and begin your day by sharing it with your kids. You could make this a fun activity by writing it on their mirror or asking them to write it in a colourful journal/book. Discuss it and ask them to use it during the day to see if they have understood the meaning of the quote.
Read our blog on inspirational thoughts from authors, book characters and role models HERE
4. Books and stories on people you admire
Share with your children stories of people you admire. Read stories about inspiring people from history. There are some really interesting books like ‘Stories for Boys Who Dare To Be Different’ by Ben Brooks or ‘Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls’ series by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. Another great option is the graphic novels about famous people by Amar Chitra Katha (read it on GetLitt.co). If you’re searching form homegrown, Indian children’s books then scroll down, as we’ve got some book suggestions for you!
5. Start your day with positivity
Share your positive thoughts with your child and inspire them to think positive through tough times as well. Always start your day with a positive attitude by thinking of something happy that will set the tone for the rest of your day.
6. Celebrate the little wins
Any small win can be a source of joy and potentially, a reason to celebrate. Set small goals, achieve them, and celebrate! This goes a long way in reducing anxiety before tough tests. This also works on personal development and teaches them to move on from setbacks.
7. Inspiring Books
Books are a great way of getting kids motivated and ready to face the day. You could read them an inspiring book as a bedtime story to prepare them for the morning ahead or even narrate quick motivational stories on your way to school!
Must-read Children’s books that motivate and inspire
1. The Little Engine That Could by author Watty Piper
Image courtesy Penguin Random House
This classic tale has been a favourite for generations. It’s one of those books that will immediately leave you with a smile on your face and a positive, can-do attitude. Pick it up for your kids today!
2. A Cappella Boy by author Katie Bagli
How would you want your child to react when they meet a differently-abled child? This book, in a beautiful way, shows what your child should do. The story is about a friendship between a girl and a differently-abled boy who has an ear for music. This book will teach your kids important life lessons.
Read A Cappella Boy HERE.
3. The Unboy Boy by author Richa Jha
Why must everyone conform to a certain standard set by society? If your kids have felt the pressure to look and behave a certain way, then this is the book to pick up. The Unboy Boy talks about young Gagan who is forced to ‘behave’ macho and more like the traditional stereotype of a boy,when he is just the opposite.
Read The Unboy Boy HERE.
4. Your Turn Now by author Lubaina Bandukwala
Doesn’t it make you feel great to do something nice for someone else without expecting a reward? Your Turn Now is a movement that was started to spread a little goodness and cheer into this world. This book shares stories of people who have done just that and, who knows, it may change your life too!
Read Your Turn Now HERE.
While books go a long way in teaching and inspiring children, constant visual reinforcement will also drive home the thought. Inspiring and positive thoughts can be written out on school blackboards or even on a white board at home. Depending on the week ahead, choose a quote that will not only foster positivity but will also help to face the challenges of the week ahead.
Here are some great thoughts you can choose from.
1. Thoughts on Learning and Studies
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- “When you know better, you do better.”- Maya Angelou
- “If you want to be powerful, educate yourself.” – Jeremy McGilvrey
- “Teachers open the door, but you must enter yourself.” -Chinese proverb
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
- “If you keep your eyes open enough, oh, the stuff you will learn. Oh, the most wonderful stuff.” – Dr. Seuss
- “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” – Aristotle
- “They cannot stop me. I will get my education, if it is in the home, school, or anyplace.” – Malala Yousafzai
- “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found It.” – Marian Wright Edelman
- “Education is a continual process, it’s like a bicycle… If you don’t pedal you don’t go forward.” – George Weah
2. Good Thoughts on Success
Image courtesy: startupnation.com
- “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
- “The expert in anything was once a beginner.” – Helen Hayes
- “Winning doesn’t always mean being first. Winning means you’re doing better than you’ve done before.” — Bonnie Blair
- Somewhere inside all of us is the power to change the world. – Roald Dahl
- “Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with big dreams is more powerful than one with all the facts.” – Albert Einstein
3. Short, Easy to Remember Thoughts for the Day
Image courtesy Flickr
- “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone
- “Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud!” – Maya Angelou
- “Perseverance can make miracles happen.” – Chinese Proverb
- “Do the right thing, even when no one is looking” Ancient proverb
- “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” -Albert Einstein
- “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Walt Disney
- “If A is a success in life, then A equals x plus y plus z. Work is x; y is play; and z is keeping your mouth shut.” -Albert Einstein
- “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”-Mahatma Gandhi
4. Inspiring Quotes for Kids from Relatable Characters
Image courtesy: Deviantart.com
Have you noticed how the lesson you are trying to teach your child gets learned really quickly when they can relate to it? Yes! Children love to laugh and they learn much faster when they know their favourite literary character – from Winnie the Pooh to Harry Potter – is trying to tell them something. Here are some inspiring quotes for kids from children’s classics. Use them daily to set the tone for the day.
- “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!”- Dr Seuss
- “Oh yes the past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it or learn from it.” – Rafiki, The Lion King
- “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr Seuss
- “Promise me you will remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne
- “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – Dumbledore Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.” – J.M Barrie, Peter Pan
- “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”- Antoine De Saint Exupery, the Little Prince
- “A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl, The Twits
- “I don’t understand it any more than you do, but one thing I’ve learned is that you don’t have to understand things for them to be.”—A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- “ Venture outside your comfort zone. The rewards are worth it.” Rapunzel from Tangled.
- “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” – Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh.
- “”Believe you can, then you will.” – Mulan
- “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it…yet.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
- “Happiness is the richest thing we will ever own.” -Donald Duck
Image courtesy: Pinterest.com
We hope that this list will get you started on your family’s journey to positive thinking and on including simple good thoughts in your daily life. If you would like to read more on how good thoughts can foster positivity in your family, please do click here.
Inspiring thoughts and simple quotes can go a long way towards making you understand all about your child’s mental health and what your child is going through better and help learn about the fears and troubles they face in their daily life.
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Rati Ramadas Girish is a true manifestation of an urban nomad. She has lived and learned in India, Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the USA. She began her career as a journalist with NDTV and then worked as a folklorist in Houston, Texas. Somewhere along the way she developed an irrepressible love for children’s literature and even wrote and published short stories in anthologies. Presently, she writes from home surrounded by her muses —two sons, a large dog, and her indulgent husband.