1. How to Raise Positive Child

    October 18, 2014

    How to Raise Positive Child

    We all want to rise happy and well-adjusted children. Most of us have high expectations for our children: we want them to succeed and excel in their careers, to be loved and appreciated. It is part of our ego: at the end of the day we want to say that we did a pretty good job at parenting.

    Here we will talk about raising a child to be positive. Most parenting articles we read and opinions we hear are about how our children should excel at school, how they should behave better, how they need to be socially accepted, how they should be happy in an egocentric manner and so on. But what they do not say is how we are going to raise them to true happiness by becoming a grateful, optimistic and altruistic person.

    How exactly are we going to raise a happy and positive child? Well, good examples start from above! Do you think you’re teaching your child how to be a decent human being instead of a high achiever? Think again. According to a study by Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist who runs a project called Making Caring Common, 80% of children stated that their parents were more concerned about their achievement and personal happiness than caring for others. Are you starting to get worried whether you’re actually teaching your children what is important?

    Why is being caring towards others a part of being a positive child? According to Dr. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, authentic happiness can only be conquered through a meaningful life as opposed to a life of pleasure and engaging activities alone (all three levels are in fact important but long-lasting happiness can only be achieved through meaning). Could there be any more meaning to life than being truly involved and caring for others?

    The research studies with Catholic nuns have showed that they have the highest happiness levels than other professional groups. They see meaning in their lives by devoting themselves to caring for others. Studies also found that positive emotions in early life is directly linked with overall health and longevity. Isn’t it something that every parent wants for their children?


  2. How to Use Positive Psychology To Build Your Child’s Character

    July 13, 2014

    How to Use Positive Psychology To Build Your Child's Character

    When it comes to raising our children, there are many available methodologies to help them build character. Positive psychology is one of them. Positive psychology focuses on the achievement of authentic happiness, as well as the ability of individuals to enhance themselves, their experiences and ultimately, their lives. I am a conventionally trained child psychologist, so it took me a long time to accept positive psychology as a legitimate science, yet there is undeniable evidence that it works for many patients.

    Positive psychology focuses on fostering positive emotions, positive traits and positive institutions. These three pillars can be incredibly beneficial in the development of your child’s character.  Positive psychology  teaches parents that in order to build their child’s character, they must focus on the strengths and positive aspects of the child’s development. It is imperative to remember that capacities differ from one child to another; your child’s capacity to love, to be creative, courageous, or compassionate may differ from that of other children.

    My staff and I do a lot of psychological assessments for children, and during that testing, especially during social emotional psychological testing, we can observe the effects of different parenting techniques. There is clearly a very strong correlation between the parenting style you use and child’s emotional health. Positive parenting style focusing on child’s strengths rather than weaknesses is the best approach to raise confident, emotionally mature person.

    Parents must always remember to reward their children with praise whenever appropriate. Positive reinforcement is essential for positive child development. Children can identify the desired behaviors that elicited the meaningful praise. It is vital to provide children with specific feedback, especially when they believe no one is watching them.  This will help developing a child’s inner strengths and virtues that will have a positive effect on their thoughts, emotions, and actions. Teamwork, an example of character strength, can be praised when siblings clean up their playroom together. Honesty, another example of character strength, can be complemented when your child admits that he got in trouble at school or tells you that returned a toy that he took without permission from his sibling. The praise should be honest, meaningful, and relevant. When such praise is given to a child, he develops healthy self-esteem, that is an essential component of emotional intelligence..