Some children have such a negative attitude -- ". . . nobody likes me . . . nothing good ever happens to me . . . it will never work." How can a parent steer a child toward a more positive attitude?

It originates from feeling good about yourself and about other people. A child must develop a good sense of self-confidence. 

Parents should provide good, strong examples of self-confidence:

  • Enjoy life.
  • Believe in yourself and what you can accomplish.
  • Compliment yourself and others.
  • Don't be afraid to make a mistake -- point to it as a natural learning experience.
  • When you feel angry or sad, don't keep those feelings very long.

What do you do when the child just won't cooperate? How can you get through when he continues to wallow in self-pity or remorse?

Don't dismiss the child's feelings, but don't baby him, either. Talk about growing up. Tell him you believe in him, that you expect him to grow up, and that you just know he can teach himself to control his thoughts. Point out examples of how the child can change things in his life — demonstrate by changing the furniture arrangement in his room.

When should parents be concerned that the child has a serious problem?

If the child is constantly negative, and especially if he seems depressed as well, call a counselor for advice. For most children, the parent just needs to balance the negative talk with thoughtful positive talk.

For more information on positive attitudes, call 553-3000 or toll-free (877) 553-3001 or email