How positive thinking can help build your tween’s resilience and improve their relationships

Bella Heim

Bella Heim

Bella is a mummy of three, writer, and photographer. She's not afraid to admit that she relies on a little red wine to keep the chaos of motherhood at bay. When she's not dodging toys and dirty diapers, you'll find her documenting the wild and wonderful ride of parenthood, and adding a splash of inspiration, creativity, and a healthy dose of mum humour along the way.
Updated on Jan 24, 2024 · 9 mins read
How positive thinking can help build your tween’s resilience and improve their relationships

Imagine being on a boat in the middle of the sea: you kinda know how to control the boat, but don’t really have the experience and skills yet. Then all of a sudden the sky starts to turn grey and you can sense a storm coming your way. Scary stuff, isn’t it?

That’s the kind of feeling your tween is going through right now, trying to navigate the tricky waters of adolescence. They are facing new challenges every day, from academic pressures to social media and peer comparisons. It is an overwhelming and stressful age, and sometimes they probably feel like no one understands what they are going through.

But what if I told you you can help your tween feel more confident, resilient, and empowered? The secret is to teach them the importance of positive thinking. By helping your tween learn to think positively, you can help them change the way they approach challenges and setbacks, and even improve their overall well-being.

I struggle with negative self-talk a lot because no one ever taught me how to be positive when I was a young girl. As a young child, I was never good enough, and whenever I made a mistake, I would be blamed and punished for it. It sucked a lot and is even more difficult when you carry the heavy weight of negativity into adulthood. But that is another story for another time.

What I am trying to say is that negative self-talk has a huge impact on our well-being, each negative thought is like a little seed, it grows into bigger problems and stays with you for a very long time. And what happens when these seeds start to grow out of control? We get defeated by a lack of self-confidence, depression, anxiety, and even physical health problems.

Positive thinking is not something that comes naturally, but like any other skill, it is totally possible to learn. And it gets better with practice! By encouraging positive thinking in tweens, we as parents can help our young ones develop the tools they need to navigate the ups and downs of adolescence and beyond. And when we encourage it enough, positive thinking will become a habit that will serve them well throughout their lives.

So now that we have that cleared, what exactly is positive thinking? How does that help your tween? Why is it so important?


Positive thinking improves mental & physical health

Did you know that thinking happy thoughts can do wonders for your kid’s health? There’s a lot of research that supports the idea that positive thinking can help boost immune systems. So, more positivity equals more health! Stress and anxiety can weaken our immune systems, making us more vulnerable to getting sick. But when young ones are in a positive frame of mind, their bodies are going to produce fewer stress hormones and more immune-boosting hormones.

As for mental health, negative thinking patterns can be a major contributor to anxiety and depression. When we get stuck in negative thought loops, it can be hard to break out of them and see things in a more positive light. But when we learn to focus on the good things in life and to reframe negative situations in a more positive way, we can start to shift our thinking patterns in a more positive direction.

Plus, a positive attitude can just make life more enjoyable and fun!

Increased resilience

Positive thinking helps your kids become more resilient in the face of adversity. When they approach challenges with a positive mindset and believe in their own abilities, they’re better equipped to bounce back from setbacks and come out even stronger.

By being able to have a positive mindset, they are likely to be able to reframe obstacles as opportunities to learn and grow. So what does that mean? It means your tween can develop a growth mindset that allows them to persevere through tough times with grace and confidence.

By teaching our kids to cultivate a positive attitude and to see challenges as opportunities for growth, we’re helping them develop the resilience they need to thrive in life and become the best version of themselves.

Improved relationships

Giving your tween the power to think positively is like planting a garden of flowers that helps them build strong, positive relationships with those around them. By focusing on the good in themselves and others, they create an environment that is ripe for beautiful connection and friendship.

You want them to be able to see the best in people and be the best for others, even when they may be having a tough day or going through a difficult time. By radiating positivity and kindness, they will naturally draw people closer to them who share their upbeat outlook on life. And who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who’s always looking on the bright side?

Greater success

Positive thinking is the secret superpower that can help your young one achieve their wildest dreams. When they are feeling positive about themselves, they’re more likely to believe that they can ace that big test, make the dance team, and even land their dream job someday!

The power of positive thinking is much like having a rocket booster strapped to their back, propelling them towards success and helping them overcome any obstacles in their way. Your beautiful child has the ability to achieve amazing things and reach their full potential, so it is our job to cultivate a can-do attitude and focus on all things positive.


How can we cultivate positive thinking for our tweens?

Have you ever been a cheerleader? Well, here’s your chance to shine! (minus the mini skirt and fancy makeup) – here are some tips to get you started to promote positive thinking in your tween and cheer them on.

Be a positive role model

Kids learn by example, so make sure you’re modelling positive thinking in your own life. When you encounter setbacks or challenges, talk to your child about how you’re feeling, and then reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. Show your child that everyone has hard times once in a while, what matters most is how we respond to these situations.

Encourage gratitude

What I like to do with my family is that we always talk about what we are grateful for every night during dinner. We want to show our children that there are so many things in our lives that we can be grateful for. It can be as simple as being grateful for being able to have a wonderful meal together, or being able to have a strong body to play.

Another cool idea is to have a gratitude jar. You can give your child an empty jar, and every time they are grateful, or happy about something that happens to them, they can write it down and fill it in the jar. This helps them to visualise the positive things they have in their lives, and it’s super fun too!

Of course, everyone is going to have negative thoughts once in a while. So when your child is feeling down, help them reframe negative thoughts in a more positive light. For example, if they’re feeling anxious about a test, instead of saying “I’m going to fail,” encourage them to say “I’ve studied hard and I’m going to do my best.”

Practice mindfulness together

With so much going on in their lives, how can we help them to chill and stay focused? By practicing mindfulness. I think as parents, we also often forget to just stay present in the moment. We are always overwhelmed by the things that need to be done, and rush ourselves to get the next things finished.  Try practicing mindfulness together with your child is really perfect way to wind down together and also a great opportunity to bond and grow together.

Take a few minutes each day to try some mindful breathing or meditation exercises with your child. You could even do a guided relaxation exercise together, like imagining a peaceful beach or a cozy forest.

Not only will practicing mindfulness help your child feel more relaxed and centered, but it can also improve their mood and boost their overall well-being.

Promote self-care

Encouraging your child to prioritise self-care can have a big impact on their mental well-being and positive thinking. When they take care of their physical and emotional needs, they’re more likely to feel energised, optimistic, and confident.

Make sure they are getting enough sleep and eating healthy so that they can be more alert and focused, making it easier for them to stay positive and engaged throughout the day. Engaging in activities that bring them joy and relaxation can also help reduce stress and promote a positive mindset.

Celebrate successes, big and small

Did they do well in a small test? Did they make a new friend? Did they manage to do their tasks all by themselves? Celebrate it with them! It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. I don’t mean throwing a huge party for everything they achieve, what I mean is to acknowledge their efforts and show them you are super proud of them. This can really help build their confidence and promote a positive mindset.

Tell them that you recognise the hard work and effort that went into their achievements. Ask them what they are most proud of, and help them see the good in what they’ve accomplished.

By being there to celebrate successes together, no matter big or small, you are giving your tween a sense of pride and accomplishment, which can help boost their self-esteem and promote positive thinking.

Positive thinking is a powerful tool that can help your tween navigate the ups and downs of adolescence. By promoting positive thinking in your child, you can help them build resilience, cope with stress and challenges, and improve their overall well-being. Promoting positive thinking in tweens is not just about giving them tools to succeed; it’s about empowering them to create a happy and fulfilling life for themselves. We have the responsibility to help our tweens to see the good in themselves, in others, and in the world around them.

Let’s continue to be the cheerleaders for our tweens and help them develop a positive attitude toward life. With our support, they can become the superheroes of their own story.

So, put on your positivity cape, grab your child’s hand, and let’s conquer the world together!

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