Rebecca’s Positive Story Book – Parents Zone
Positive Psychology is a fairly new sub-field within the study of Psychology. It is the study of happiness and looks at how adults and children can live a more fulfilling and satisfying life.
Another way to look at is, traditional Psychology is concerned with “fixing things,” while Positive Psychology is geared towards “preventing things.”
For example, when your child is at the edge of a cliff, Positive Psychology encourages you to build a fence to stop your child from falling instead of calling an ambulance to pick up the pieces once they’ve already fallen (traditional psychology).
So how do you build a fence?
Even though there are many ways to build a fence, we explore one principles within “Rebecca and the Rain” – Resilience
Why is this important?
By practising the principles within Positive Psychology, research shows that kids improve their academic performance and attitude. They also engage in more positive behaviours (and fewer negative ones). We all want that for our children! It also:
- Increases success when it comes to forming friendships; increases ability to manage conflict with peers
- Enables them to manage negative emotions
- Enables them to have better concentration, which means performing better academically
- Prevents health problems
- Creates more stable and satisfying relationships with adults
- Makes them more resilient and optimistic
Rebecca in the Rain & Resilience
Rebecca was looking forward to spending the day with her dad, then circumstances changed and her day was not what she expected. How many times have you or your child been disappointed that things didn’t go the way you planned?
Within the area of Positive Psychology, one of the biggest principles is building resilience. Truly happy kids take pleasure when things go as planned and cope well if they don’t.
Building resilience from a young age improves social and emotional functioning, increases levels of creativity and levels of positive emotion. It also reduces the likelihood of psychological difficulties such as anxiety, depression or destructive behaviours such as alcohol or drugs later in life.
Simple Action Steps
Tips for building resilience:
- Keep things in perspective – explain to the grumpy or upset child that their circumstances are not the worst possible. Support them as they handle the situation. This helps them build hope and the belief they can handle problems when they come up.
- Be a good listener and let them know they can trust you.
- Be a great role model. Adults get upset when obstacles arise also; the same rules apply as kids – learn to turn the obstacle to your advantage. Obstacles, by their very nature, challenge you to grow, change and adapt.
- Reinforce optimism and hope when things don’t go as planned.
- Encourage realistic expectations; we all need to face the reality that things go wrong sometimes.
- Encourage your child to try new things, even if they don’t think they will be able to do them.
Let’s chat about “Rebecca in the Rain”
Below is a list of possible questions to ask kids after playing Rebecca in the Rains:
1. What was Rebecca so excited about? Have you ever been super excited about doing something? What was it?
2. What then made Rebecca upset?
3. What did Rebecca and her dad do to have fun?
4. Do you ever get upset when things change and don’t go to plan? If so, what can you do about it?