Dealing with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

Psychologist & Author David Palmiter, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to deal with negativity by substituting positive thoughts
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Dealing with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

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All kids - a lot of kids have some negative thinking that they do from time to time. And if it's not too pervasive, I can deal with it quickly and easily. I'll ask the kid, "what would you do if you found a pair of jeans you hadn't worn in a year and they hurt and they were so tight?". They might look at me like why are you asking me such a stupid question, Dr. Dave. But I'll say, "give me the answer anyway". When they say the obvious thing. They will change their pants. I say, "wouldn't it be silly if there's a kid who walk around going "oh, this jeans hurt, ouch, ouch, ouch". They're ridiculous but that's what we do with our thought sometimes. We'll keep a negative thought in our head that's serving any function or any purpose or whatsoever. We're not solving a problem. I'm stupid. Nobody likes me. And we just beat ourselves up with it. Why not stop and substitute a better thought. A true thought about myself that gives me pleasure. A true thought about the life around me that gives me pleasure or something I'm looking forward gives me pleasure. Any of those 3 is a quick swap can be done. It's actually quicker than changing jeans and can get rid of the negative thinking.

Psychologist & Author David Palmiter, PhD, shares advice for parents on how to teach your child to deal with negativity by substituting positive thoughts

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David Palmiter, PhD, ABPP

Psychologist & Author

Dr. David Palmiter is a professor of Psychology and Counseling at Marywood University. He is a practicing and board-certified clinical psychologist, a past president of the Pennsylvania Psychological Association, the author of over three dozen publications, including two books on promoting resilience in youth, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (true of < 6% of psychologists), the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and the Pennsylvania Psychological Association in youth. He has also given hundreds of workshops on family issues for organizations such as The Navy SEAL Foundation, The Master Therapist Series at the University of Connecticut, The American Psychological Association and the McGraw-Hill Financial Group and completed hundreds of media projects for outlets such as CNN, The New York Times, US News and World Report and the Wall Street Journal. David is also a dad of three (two studying at Cornell University and one still in high school) and husband of 27 years to Dr. Lia Richards-Palmiter. A central aspect of his professional mission is to put air under the wings of parents as they try to raise happy and resilient children and teens.

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