Temperament has a lot to do with how children react to things that happen to them throughout the day. Flexible children adapt easily to changes and are likely to be curious about new people, toys. and activities. Children who are timid or “slow to warm” are more cautious in their approach. They need time to adjust to what’s novel in their environment. Feisty children have lots of energy, with strong reactions to both good and bad experiences.
Knowing how to recognize temperamental differences among children enables adults to collaborate with them in a way that encourages them to have a positive attitude toward themselves and others. When that support is not available, children of all temperaments are more likely to be pessimistic and unhappy. They develop an attentional bias toward the negative aspects of people and routines. Life is stressful for them, and they are more likely to display anxiety or avoidance behaviors. They need more reassurance than their peers, and opportunities to practice the art of positive thinking.
Here are some strategies you can try:
Encourage children to use their minds to conjure up mental images of places or people who make them feel hopeful and happy. Encourage them to call these up when they feel frightened or unhappy.
• Positive Affirmations
Language informs reality. Positive self-talk helps children acquire a more positive, optimistic point of view. Teach children short, positive statements they can use when courage fails them.
• Thought Blocking
Pessimistic children hold onto negative experiences or perceived wrong doings much longer than their peers. Work with them to set a limit on how often they are allowed to discuss these topics in a given timeframe. Use a stop sign or other mutually agreed upon signal to redirect the conversation.