How Can We Help Kids Stay Positive?

Trials have been heavy this year. How can we help kids stay positive? We can choose the narrative our minds focus on. Let’s help children be positive by choosing to be positive ourselves.



Seeing the sunflowers open, I realize we can all learn from them!


We can be like sunshine in our often negative world.




Good things take time.

Sunflowers take months to grow.


We can stand tall and strong.

Sunflowers can be extremely tall and strong. This plant is much taller than the sweet corn growing around it.



Even when knocked down, they can still bloom.


Their beauty brings others from all around.

Pollinators love the flowers. Birds find the seeds delicious. We enjoy looking at and photographing the sunflowers.




Here are some ideas to help your family thrive, even during hard times.


Focus on Good News

The media is filled with negative news, but your home doesn’t have to be! Challenge each other to find good news! You could make a list on the refrigerator, create posters, or even make a news reel for your family that only has good news! Your children can make a channel name, find something to use as microphones and put together a set for your positive news hour! The options are endless. Your children may enjoy being detectives hounding positive news, be sure to get in on the search and share your own stories!


Searching for some good news? Here are some ideas!


* The sun still shines!

* The stars come out each night, even if we don’t see them.

* We can read books as a family.

* We are a family.

* ________ washed the dishes today.

* We have dishes to wash.

* We have music to listen to.

* The neighbor’s cat came home.

* ________ got her homework done.

Take Time to Have Fun as a Family

Sometimes we just need to turn off the computers, tablets, and phones. We need to put down the homework, bills, and reports and just spend time as a family. Eye contact and a smile go a long way. With masks up in public places keeping smiles covered (and protecting others from viruses), your family needs to see smiles from you more than ever. What games can your family play together? What activities can you do that will result in quality time as a family?

Creatively Share What You’re Thankful For

In my classroom I used to have a small basketball hoop. Each day my students would line up to say what they were thankful for. Then each one would have a chance to shoot at that hoop. It was fun and kept us on a positive note. What spin could you put on this activity for your family?

Journal

Journaling is something that can help us cope with things around us. This doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task in order to help us stay positive. You can just write something good that happened in a day. Sometimes I make a numbered list of things I’m thankful for. Looking for an activity to help children express themselves? Check out the Learning: Tools and Ideas page. You'll find activity sheets inspired by the sunflower with a mask. Sunflower Activity A asks young students to name the sunflower, write how it might be feeling, and draw a sunflower on the back of the page. Sunflower Activity B asks older students to reflect on how they stay positive during hard times and to design a poster that incorporates a strong phrase that will help encourage others.

You are your child's first and most important teacher! As you look for ways to help your family stay positive in this pandemic, you are giving your children skills they will need for life. Bad news will come again, but your family will be ready. You are strong and are helping your children be as well!


Questions to Ponder



What has your family done this year to stay positive?


How will you help your family thrive, even during a pandemic?


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