Discussion Questions: Chapter Seven

A New Psychology

This chapter is the turning point into a whole new world of positive thought and interaction with your kids.

“Here’s the good news: we know people are not “born” optimists or pessimists. We know that explanatory styles are learned, and that they can be unlearned. We know that we can discipline and train our thoughts, just as we can train our bodies to get in shape.” (p. 129)

Q: Over the next few days or weeks, start to notice how you explain things. Using the information on page 129, are you able to see when you are holding an optimistic or pessimistic mindset? Are you seeing your troubles as temporary, coincidental, and general? Or are you taking them personally, seeing them as permanent and pervasive?

Q: If you find that you have a pessimistic mindset, give some thought to where you got it. Did your primary caregivers model negativity, as described on page 130? Did the crises in your life resolve or persist endlessly? Keep in mind these are circumstances that shaped your mindset, not “truths” about who you are.

Q: Over the next few days or weeks, watch the “ABCs” of how your mindset operates. In ADVERSITY,  what BELIEFS are you acting on, and what are the CONSEQUENCES of those actions? Are the actions you take constructive or destructive?

Remember: You can now give yourself permission to DISTRACT yourself or DISPUTE your negative thoughts.

This question is always a good one:

Q: What sentence, paragraph, or idea popped out at you, or stuck with you after reading?

Reply in the Comments, below!

Looking for resource links? Click here.

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