Faulty Thought Patterns To Teach Your Kids To Be Wary Of
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Most people have certain patterns of thinking which make them see the worst in people and situations and lose good opportunities and friends along the way. Teaching your children to be mindful of these common faulty thinking patterns will help them understand you (and other people) better and improve their decision making.
- Personalizing: Taking something personally that may not be personal, say, seeing events as results of your actions when there are other possibilities. For example, believing someone’s sharp tone must be because they’re irritated with you.
- Mindreading: Guessing what someone else is thinking, when they may not be thinking that.
- Negative predictions: Overestimating the likelihood that an action will have a negative outcome.
- Underestimating coping ability: Underestimating your ability cope with negative events.
- Biased attention toward signs of social rejection, and lack of attention to signs of social acceptance: For example, during social interactions, paying attention to someone yawning and assuming you're boring them—but not paying the same degree of attention to other cues that suggest they are interested in what you’re saying (such as leaning toward you).
- Negatively biased recall of social encounters: Remembering negatives from a social situation while not remembering positives. For example, remembering losing your place for a few seconds while giving a talk but not remembering the huge clap you got at the end.
- Thinking an absence of enthusiasm means something is wrong.
- Entitlement beliefs: Believing the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. For example, believing you don’t need to study even if that is the normal path to pass an exam.
- Seeing a situation only from your own perspective: For example, failing to look at a topic of conflict from your friend’s perspective.
- Belief that self-criticism is an effective way to motivate yourself toward better future behavior: It’s not.
- Recognizing feelings as causes of behavior, but not equally attending to how behavior influences thoughts and feelings: For example, you think, “When I have more energy, I’ll exercise” but not, “Exercising will give me more energy.
- Should and musts: For example, "I should always give 100 percent." Sometimes, there are no important benefits of doing a task beyond a basic acceptable level. For example, it is great if your child wants to score 90% or above in the exams, but if for some reasons he or she can’t, they should not beat themselves up over it continuously. Remember, every child has a unique set of talents.
So, take a printout of all these faulty thought patterns, discuss them with your child and post them on their wall to motivate and teach them. I am looking forward to hearing from you and will come back with another write up, full of parenting tips and tricks. Do write to me in the comments section, if you have any queries, suggestions or even if just want to say “hi”. Ciao till the next time!
Aarti Puri is Harvard educated and the founder and CEO of Magnolia Kids, a primary school. She is a psychologist, writer and teacher trainer. She's starting her YouTube Video channel for moms and kids soon!
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.