Positive Psychology is a strong focus in our household as we aim to help our children manage their ADHD and anxiety (and it helps us too, of course).
Those of us with anxiety have a tendency to over-dramatise and fixate on the negatives. Our most recent tact in dealing with this has been to ask, ‘How long did that moment really last?’ and ‘Do we really want to drag that 5 second moment out so it affects us the rest of the afternoon?’ It’s done, leave it there. And that simple advice helps.
Additionally, we’re revisiting Gratitude Journals, but this time with more emphasis on the causal effects of these positives. The aim here is to highlight how much control we have over positives – how often we have done things which contribute to them ourselves – so that we can try to reproduce them (self-efficacy). And also, to allocate sincere gratitude to other people, specifically, when they have helped make our lives wonderful.
The kids have also created academic and social goals for the year whose progress will be reflected on in their journals. They fill them out at the dinner table straight after dinner (where we’ve discussed our day so positives are fresh in their minds) and are actually enjoying them.
So in case anyone is looking to create something like this for their children, I thought I’d share the questions which appear on each page of the journals.
List 3 things you were grateful for today.
What caused each of these to happen? (Someone’s generosity? Your courage/persistence?)
Recall a happy memory and describe it in detail.
Describe one kind thing you did for someone else today.
What is one thing you did today which will take you closer to achieving your goals?
(Accompanying illustrations encouraged!)