The skill of staying positive (resilience)
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How to have a positive mindset
Being able to think positively is one way that young people can stay on top of their wellbeing. Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, step-parent or guardian, these activities help you talk about wellbeing and are ideal for home learning.
As a starting point, talk about a change or challenge your child will be facing soon, like moving up to a new year group or joining a new sports team. Encourage them to think about what they are looking forward to, anything they are worried about, and how they can prepare themselves so they feel ready. They can write their answers on the worksheet.
Talk through the following scenarios that your child might experience, including meeting new people or feeling overwhelmed with homework. Ask them to think about how each scenario would make them feel. What would be their first reaction, and what could be a more positive reaction to help resolve the problem?
- Scenario 1 - in one of your lessons, you've been put into a group to complete a project with people you don't really know
- Scenario 2 - a few weeks into a new term, you have a lot of homework to get through that's all due at a similar time.
Explain that reacting in a positive way helps us to solve a problem, rather than make it worse. Some positive responses to these examples could include finding something you have in common with the new people, or talking to a teacher, parent, or known adult about homework concerns. Let your child know that teachers and trusted adults are approachable and will be able to help them.
Next, go back to any worries your child may have mentioned earlier about their upcoming change or challenge. Explain that it is normal to feel scared when we are faced with challenges, but overcoming these fears can help us grow and be ready for new situations.
Using the table on page 2 of the worksheet, show your child how they can tackle their concerns by seeing challenges as ways to grow, as well as reflecting on what they can do to prepare for them.
If your child is going to be facing a challenge soon, such as starting a new school or club, ask them what they think they need to do feel more ready for it.
Answers may include practising packing their bag, ensuring they have all the required equipment such as stationery, trying out their journey, organising their clothes/uniform, checking policies on mobile phones, or talking to older siblings and friends about their experiences.
Finish the activity by asking your child if they now view new challenges as a negative or positive thing. You could share one of your own experiences where you faced a challenge that had a positive outcome. It’s worth recapping that approaching challenges with a positive attitude, and preparing for them, can help them seem less scary. The ability to stay positive (also known as resilience) will be useful for their time in school and beyond.