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Dealing with Chronic Negativity in Kids

Posted by Marissa Stephens, 1-on-1 Coach

Let’s face it, we all have bad days. And sometimes kids seem to have never-ending bad days! Nothing ever seems good enough or makes them happy.

Kids can get stuck in negative patterns, especially during certain stages of development. Here’s how to deal with chronic negativity at home.

  1. Know that negativity is part of normal development. Especially for toddlers and teenagers. Normal doesn’t make it more pleasant, but it can give you some perspective.
  2. You don’t have to react right now. A negative attitude is very powerful and can draw other people into its orbit. When your child says something negative, choose to ignore them. Don’t give the negativity any more power.
  3. Don’t struggle against it. No matter how ridiculous or overblown your child’s attitude may seem to you, they have a different perspective. Empathy can go a long way toward helping both of you cope.
  4. Find an outlet. Constant negativity can be frustrating and draining to live with. It’s important to find a way to help yourself feel better.

Remember, it’s not your job to make your child feel a certain way.

Acceptance is key to effectively coping with negativity. You can’t force your child to change their attitude; you can only accept where they are right now. It doesn’t mean they will be this way forever. In the meantime, we realize that it’s not easy for you or them.

Hang in there, stay strong, and take a break when you need it. Know that we’re here for you.


Marissa, Empowering Parents Coach


About Marissa Stephens, 1-on-1 Coach

Marissa is a proud mom to two boys, age 12 and 7. She earned her degree in Sociology from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine and has been a 1-on-1 Coach since 2011. Prior to coming to Empowering Parents, Marissa gained experience working as the House Manager of a group home for teenage boys, as a Children’s Mental Health Case Manager, and also spent several years working on the Children’s Unit at a Psych. Hospital.

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