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DD (7) is such a pessimist how can I help her see the glass as half full?

(9 Posts)
plipplops Tue 23-Dec-14 11:49:09

Title says it all really, she just expects the worst all the time. Will give a few examples:

We're running late with tea and I had got sidetracked and not got round to giving them pudding (but had said earlier they could have ice cream). Instead of coming to ask for it she started crying, then said "it's too late to have it now so we can't have ice cream". If she'd have just asked I'd have let her have it (which I did and then she cheered up).

We were going to the shop to buy a Christmas dress. As we pulled up she started moaning on saying "I bet they won't have anything and then I won't have a dress to wear to the party". We found an outfit she loved.

Went to a new soft play place yesterday. In the car on the way home she was upset and a bit cross as she hadn't enjoyed it as much as a place we've been to a few times. She had looked happy almost all the time we were there but in the car then said "I knew it wouldn't be as fun".

We're going out for Christmas dinner. She's a v fussy eater and doesn't want to go as "I won't like anything and then I'll be embarrassed as people will be looking at me thinking 'why isn't that girl eating'"? She will like the meat and possibly potatoes, and we have gone out of our way to make her know we don't care if she doesn't eat anything, we just want her to enjoy being out with her family. She can't seem to see that if she's embarrassed, she could just eat a bit of the things she does like and that might help.

On holiday at a theme park, if she's queuing for ride she thinks she'll be scared and not like it before she's seen it (even if DH and I know she'll love it)

She hates doing her spellings for school as she says they're always too hard and she can't do them. On the odd occasion she actually works and does them she's proud of herself but that's few and far between.

I think DH and I generally are positive with her, telling her she can do things etc rather than that she can't. It's so hard as when she's being negative as I do't want to tell her off (and then make her feel worse) but it drives me crazy. I can't help thinking it's a bigger picture thing we're doing wrong - do we need to give her more independence or something?? But how to do that practically??

Sorry that was a bit long....

MinionDave Tue 23-Dec-14 11:51:27

Watching with interest as DS (9) is the exact same. It can get really wearing dealing with the negativity all the time and I'm forever trying to boost his confidence. sad

Starlightbright1 Tue 23-Dec-14 12:04:59

I would of described my DS like this a year ago... I haven't noticed as much ...

Not sure what has made the difference but these are the things I can recall.

I remember a day to a theme park lost his hat on log ride ..Worst day of his life ..i got cross ..not my best parenting technique but I was clear it was not.

I got him a sponsor child so he could see how lucky he really is.

My main approach was whenever he said anything negative I turned it round to the glass half full version.

I have also refused to listen to what I describe as whinging...

plipplops Tue 23-Dec-14 12:21:11

Thanks, good to know I'm not alone. I try not to overthink it as the thought of her being in her 20s and so negative is very very depressing. Starlight did the sponsor a child thing help? Think it's a really interesting idea.

squizita Tue 23-Dec-14 16:39:39

I would be careful of writing off negative feelings as whinging or hinting she's ungrateful. She does feel these feelings and telling her they're wrong will just teach her to hide them because they (and therefore she as a person) are embarrassing and offend others. It could all blow up again when she's older either with rebellion or anxiety/being afraid to say "no" in social situations.

I would have a gentle chat after incidents using positive language. Eg. I noticed you were worried there wpuld be no pudding. But it was ok in the end. It's not nice being worried: of course i would always give you pudding if its pudding time. What could you try another time to help with that? (And nudge towards politely asking). Or agree spellings ARE hard and not fun to learn. How many does she believe she can get right if she tries hard? OK, well let's try, every spelling counts! (Then praise/reward when she gets probably more than she thought she would correct).
Gradually do this and really praise her for checking and giving things a go.
It's not a quick fix and she might always be cautious - that might just be her- but with the tools to check whether it's actually ok, she'll feel much more secure about where she stands in life.

Starlightbright1 Tue 23-Dec-14 19:28:55

TO be honest I can't say what has worked..Has he just grown out of it..It wasn't till I read your post I realised it had just seemed to have diminished.

I am not sure if anything I did helped or just as he has grown. I still speak very positively. If we go out what was the best part of your day, walking home from school...What was the best thing that happened at school rather than have you had a good day?

GingerbreadPudding Wed 24-Dec-14 09:41:04

It's worth watching your own language,even when talking to an adult and she might be eavesdropping. Do you sometimes put a negative slant 'we need to hurry or we will miss the bus' is subtly different to 'if we are quick we will catch the bus.'it may not be this at all but it's something to think about.

squizita Wed 24-Dec-14 10:08:23

Yes yes to what Gingerbread says!!

plipplops Wed 24-Dec-14 18:03:44

Thanks ever so much. I'll try and listen to myself more (I think I'm pretty positive but who knows??) squitza I agree with you I don't want her to feel bad about feeling bad iykwim, especially as she grows up.

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