It’s Elementary-The Lens Through Which we Parent

by gurumommy on April 11, 2010

in from the desk of

Welcome back to Josie Bahedry & her gurumommy column “It’s Elementary”.  This week Josie writes about the importance of positive psychology in parenting.  Josie had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Shawn Achor, best known for his work on Positive Psychology. One fact that he mentioned gave me pause for thought. Back in the 70’s the average age that depression was diagnosed was 29, in 2004 the average age was 14 and a half. Pretty staggering I think you’ll agree! He also pointed out that for every positive article on how kids thrive there are seventeen on depression and anxiety disorders. His argument is that if we view the world through negativity then it undoubtedly affects our psyche.
Teachers have also noted many disturbing trends, including depression, in the students and families whom we work with. Increased anxiety, kids with under-developed coping skills, low self-esteem and stressed out students have resulted in some schools implementing new classes and techniques like yoga, mindfulness and meditation. One of the factors that may have contributed to this trend is that so many parents are parenting from a place of fear. As Shawn Achor pointed out, we live our lives according to the lens through which we view it. If we, as parents are viewing the world as a scary, unpredictable place then we may be parenting from a place of fear and uncertainty. The trickle down effect means that the way we react, the words we say or that our kids overhear us say, directly impacts them. If we can make a few changes, like spending time each day being grateful out loud, together as a family, or turn off the evening news when the children are in the room with us, perhaps we can regain our optimism and parent through a joyful and hopeful lens. It’s Elementary!

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: