Dr. Rich Patterson

Being Positive During Negative Times

In general, let’s face it, the human psyche default is to the negative.  Never is that so obvious as it is during difficult times.  The times when it seems like your kids aren’t listening, won’t listen, and things keep getting worse.  Staying positive during unfavorable times requires tenacity.  Tenacity is a resolve, a firmness in the form of determination to keep things going on the high side instead of the low side of emotions.  It requires that we be tenacious in our affirmations when things slide the other way.

Let’s say your having a conversation with your child about something they want to do that isn’t safe or a good idea in general.  The conversation quickly turns hostile when they insist that they can do this thing they want to do.  Then, right then, you have a choice to stay positive and not allow the emotion of the situation to take advantage of you.  It may require that you suspend the conversation for a few minutes even.  Then be sure to come right back to it as soon as possible.

By taking the high road, we demonstrate a higher level of behavior as an adult.  It will serve as an example for them as they grow and develop into their person.

How often do you remember something that your parents did, and as you open your mouth, some of their words?  Are they good words or words that push towards over-correcting and negativity?

Kids so often model their parents, even when we’re sure that they will not.  Later in life, you will have the opportunity to watch them with their kids, and you will see your examples modeled with their kids.  I like to think of this as high flying or low flying.  The negative times are low flight, attracting low flying thoughts, words, and behaviors.  Often because of frustration, we over-react, or in our efforts to make something happen, just jump, as if by default, to the negative.

If we can keep ourselves on the high-flying side of thoughts, words, and behaviors, we set a far better example of how to behave during times of stress or difficulty.

You might say to me, “Well, Rich, this is fine, but pretty difficult to make happen.”  I have seen it with parents in action, and it is something to behold.  It takes practice, endurance, and a tireless approach to make it happen.  After all, the negativity we so quickly adopt hasn’t served us well in the long run, so why not try the high road?

Continue to read in this vein by clicking this post on Positive or Negative, Positive or Negative – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Healthy Place has a post on What is Negative Thinking that is very beneficial reading, What is Negative Thinking? How It Destroys Your Mental Health | HealthyPlace


Yours for better parenting,