2 In Definitions/ Easy Action Items/ Great for All Ages/ Special Phrase Language/ Stress Management

The Absence of a Negative is Not a Good


The Goods:

  • One good thing you did. (“I shared my cookies with my brother.”)
  • One good thing someone else did. (“Cindy walked with me to the nurse’s office when I wasn’t feeling well.”)
  • One good thing. (“We played dodgeball in gym class today.”)

Going through The Goods once a day (with your kids) helps you (and your kids) maintain a positive outlook on life. It helps us consistently search out the good things in our lives instead of the negatives.

Happy family having fun on floor of in living room at home, laug

But sometimes what your child may think is a “Good” is actually not: the absence of a negative is not a good. Why? Because it keeps the focus on the negative and not the good. For instance:

  • “I don’t have homework tonight” is not a suitable “Good”.Classroom Under Control
  • “School was canceled today for a snow day!”
  • “My English teacher was sick so we had a substitute and did not do anything in class today!”
  • “My math teacher didn’t call on me.”
  • “I didn’t have a pop quiz like I thought I would.”
  • “I didn’t punch my sister.”

Goods look more like:

  • “I have a lot of free time tonight! I’m going to read a book” (in our dreams…).
  • “We had a snow day and I played outside with my siblings!”Kids Playing In The Snow
  • “And I made a snowman!”Funny kid boy in colorful clothes making a snowman, outdoors
  • “I did well on my math quiz!”
  • “I dominated my pop quiz.”
  • “My sister and I played cards when we got home from school and had a really fun time.”

Good luck finding The Real Goods!


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  • Ann Firestone
    January 11, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Sometimes acknowledging a negative action helps to pinpoint what a more positve action could be.

    • Fireborn Institute
      January 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Good point! As you can see, some of the good “goods” are different ways to phrase some of the bad goods, such as “I do not have homework tonight” is the negative version of “I have a lot of free time tonight!” While they are similar, framing it in the positive way is important because it actually alters your brain’s neurological network and helps you to have a positive mood more often.