Dealing with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

Psychologist & Author David Palmiter, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to deal with negativity by substituting positive thoughts
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Dealing with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

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All kids - a lot of kids have some negative thinking that they do from time to time. And if it's not too pervasive, I can deal with it quickly and easily. I'll ask the kid, "what would you do if you found a pair of jeans you hadn't worn in a year and they hurt and they were so tight?". They might look at me like why are you asking me such a stupid question, Dr. Dave. But I'll say, "give me the answer anyway". When they say the obvious thing. They will change their pants. I say, "wouldn't it be silly if there's a kid who walk around going "oh, this jeans hurt, ouch, ouch, ouch". They're ridiculous but that's what we do with our thought sometimes. We'll keep a negative thought in our head that's serving any function or any purpose or whatsoever. We're not solving a problem. I'm stupid. Nobody likes me. And we just beat ourselves up with it. Why not stop and substitute a better thought. A true thought about myself that gives me pleasure. A true thought about the life around me that gives me pleasure or something I'm looking forward gives me pleasure. Any of those 3 is a quick swap can be done. It's actually quicker than changing jeans and can get rid of the negative thinking.

Psychologist & Author David Palmiter, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to deal with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University, the President of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association (2012-2013), a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist with over 20 years experience, a Public Education Coordinator for the American Psychological Association, author of an award winning parenting book (times three), dad (of 3.0 children; 3.5 if you count the neurotic dog) and husband (of over 22 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter, who says she has 4.0 children as she counts David). Dr. Palmiter has over three dozen professional publications to his credit, has given over 200 continuing education workshops around the country and has completed over 300 public education projects, including for outlets such as the LA Times, US News and World Report, USA Today, Wall St. Journal and O Magazine. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and self-actualized children. 

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