'Black' and 'White' written in chalk on a blackboard

Many people look at life as black and white. It is either good or bad, right or wrong. They think like this about many things – like the experiences they have, the opinions of others or the people they know. They either say something good about them or something bad. They aren’t able to see that someone can be likeable despite their downfalls or able to see something as being both good and not so great. These type of people have really limited thinking and it is not helpful. People need to see the in-between – the grey area.  Stopping black and white thinking can be a real positive as it allows you to see a situation from all aspects, a person from all sides and an experience as a whole.

Reducing The Black And White Thinking

This is really relevant to children. Children will say that someone is or isn’t their friend and therefore they will either play with them or they won’t. They shouldn’t think like that. They should be open to playing with any child who wants to play with them unless they are going to spoil the game and not treat them with respect and be unkind. They need to be more open-minded. Someone can still be their friend if they don’t spend lots of time with them.

Another example is an experience. If a child has a bad experience with doing an activity, it does not mean that the whole experience was bad. They should be able to see the parts of it that were fun or enjoyable.

So how do we help children get rid of black-and-white thinking and be a bit more grey? Challenge their thoughts when they say something is good or bad, right or wrong. Talk about the in-between and tame down the language they use. It’s great to have an opinion on something but they need to be more flexible in their thinking. Maybe this is something you do so it could be time to change your language too.

If you think your child could with some coaching help with this please get in touch with me.