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Eight Parenting Tips: Fight Hopelessness

Hopelessness is no joke. Teens can easily slip into an unending loop of pessimism and negative thinking. Of course, we will do what parents do, and attempt to counteract the negativity with our own ideas of what they should be thinking. This doesn’t work.

If we’re not careful, without realizing it, parents may start a power struggle surrounding the teen’s negative outlook. Thus becoming a part of the endless loop, and an object of their negativity. Hopelessness is often at the root of suicidal thoughts, and attempts. It is undoubtedly indicative of low self-esteem, and low self-confidence, as well as feeling out of control.

  1. Encourage gratitude. Encourage teens to identify things that they are grateful.

  2. Encourage Competence. Give High praise for the things they do well and encourage them to build on those talents.

  3. Speak hopefulness. Maximize the good that is going on in teens' lives.

  4. Be inclusive. Include teens in joyous activities.

  5. Express your appreciation for them. Let teens know when they do something they appreciate.

  6. Encourage teens to think about what good things could happen. When they give a pessimistic fortune telling a narrative, encourage them to retell the story, but make the narrative positive.

  7. Help them find good even in bad situations. Bad things are always happening, but good things are still happening too. Encourage them to find something good to think about.

  8. Encourage teens to help others. Let them help others, who need help

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