A common factor in both anxiety and depression is what psychologists call “a negative explanatory style.” This is the story we tell ourselves to explain any event we experience. People with a negative explanatory style tend to own failure and attribute success to luck. The more negative the explanation we give ourselves the more likely we are to be suffering from anxiety or depression.
Children and teenagers tend to have very “black or white” thinking. This is totally normal due to their stage of brain development. However, if we are not mindful of the stories they are telling themselves about themselves this can become an issue, especially as negativity feeds negativity.
Luckily positivity feeds positivity too, and it is by using this we can support our kids to develop more healthy and realistic explanatory styles.
Of course, if you are concerned about your child’s mental health, get support. You can talk to the school, talk to your GP and if necessary talk to a psychologist or other mental health professional to get the help that they need in a timely manner.
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