How to nurture optimism in a child

Written by
Diana Dutcher
on April 28, 2020

How many times does a child hear NO during the day? How many times do they hear YES? I was fascinated to learn that the number of times a child hears YES versus NO can have a serious impact on how their brains develop and how they handle stress as adults.

This quote from sums it up perfectly.

“Dr. Dan Siegel, clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, tells that there are actually two types of brain states your children might utilize: a “yes” brain” state and a “no” brain state. The “yes” kids go through life with a positive outlook, while the “no” kids often shut down emotionally. In other words, a “yes” brain state will “approach life with all of these positive features versus a ‘no brain’ state, which is created when we feel threatened and we shut down.” If your child hears “no” repeatedly, learning new things or being open to new experiences can prove more difficult than if they were encouraged via “yes” statements.”

This is so fascinating! How can I make sure to nurture a “yes” brain?

Tell me if this sounds familiar: when people (children) expect to hear a NO response to their request, they go into defensive/fight mode. They’ve geared up for a battle based on past experiences and you have no chance at diffusing that argument. This is exactly how interactions go from zero to 100 out of nowhere.

Can we agree it’s important for children to hear YES? I want my children to learn “the glass is half full”, there is always a way to work out a problem, the possibilities are greater than the pitfalls, etc…

So, how do we teach our kids to have a YES brain? The concept is easy – we say YES to them. It’s not always easy to find a way to say yes but … news flash … nothing about parenting is easy. This is another way that we are tested in our most stressed and busy moments to come up with a loving and supportive “yes”.

I’m going to talk you through how to frame these conversations in Friday’s LIVE training. Join us at The Hassle-Free Family for even more tips on how to nurture a happy, healthy, and hassle-free home.

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    Written By
    Diana Dutcher

    I am an educator and entrepreneur who is passionate about non-toxic living. I get to be with my five kiddos (8, 6-year old twins, and 4-year old twins) in the mornings and teach in the afternoons or evenings. It’s a beautiful abundant life 💖

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