My 4 1/2 year old daughter is such a negative Nelly how can I redirect her thinking to be more positive?

Stonce - posted on 09/20/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




I am a working mom and when I come home from work all I seem to get out of my 4 1/2 year old is complaining and crying. I will ask her how her day was and she says, "Good but...." and the complaints start pouring out. I try to highlight or emphasis the positive things of the day and she always has a rebuttal that is negative. I am welcome to any and all suggestions. This is so tiresome for me when I get home I just want to hug my baby and enjoy the evening. I feel bad thinking maybe I am not doing enough for her. I realize she is tired but this complaining and being negative is a constant even on the weekends. It is also hard for me because I am a very positive person and I can dig positivity out of the darkest of places...


Denikka - posted on 09/22/2012




Fake it till you make it :P

It's what I do with my son (he's 3.5) and what I've started doing with myself too.

For every negative comment, you HAVE to come up with something completely positive.

I know I'm really bad for picking on my physical features. So any time I catch myself in front of a mirror wishing I had a flatter tummy or whatever, I force myself to say one or two positive things about something I like :)

So, if, when you ask your daughter how her day was, and she says "good, but. . .", let her get the negatives out, but then get her to tell out something positive about each situation she had something negative to say about.


Negative: I fell down at school.

Positive: I got back up and didn't cry. /OR/ Someone was nice and came to help me up.

Right now, my son's big one is that he's too small. We have occasionally told him that he's too little (or young or whatever) to do certain things. And he likes to throw a mini pity party when he says it :P

So whenever he says he's too little to do something, I make him tell me something he's big enough to do. And sometimes I'll ALSO tell him something that he's little enough to do, that that mommy or daddy are too big to do (like hide in the cupboards, or ride on daddy's shoulders)


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Amy - posted on 09/22/2012




I can so relate to this post! My 6 year old is the same exact way and it's so mentally draining. Right now he's having a really rough time with school, he hates it, the day is too long, it's so boring, and he's not learning anything. So what we have done is given him a motivator to not complain, he really liked his kindergarten teacher so I told him if he can go a week without complaining I will pick him up from school one day and we can go visit her after class. This has helped tremendously because when he gets ready to complain I simply say "are you starting to complain? so you don't want to go visit your teacher?" This usually gets him to stop because he knows there is a reward. I know some parents would be concerned about not allowing their kids to complain but my son still tells me stuff. Since we started this no complaining about school my son informed me there was another student bothering him in his class, so we talked about what he should do and say if it continued.

So my best advice is try to set up something that your daughter really wants to do and see if you can use it as a motivator if your daughter can go without complaining. Maybe it's an extra story each night or a girls day on the weekend. Hope this helps.

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