• Teaching Your Child to Be Optimistic

    Teaching Your Child to Be Optimistic

    Imagine a situation where your child studied hard for a test but didn’t do as well as they had hoped. Or, they didn’t make the basketball team. Life is full of ups and downs, and learning how to navigate the times when things don’t turn out the way we want can be difficult. Children can often take misfortunes personally, and blame themselves instead of recognizing outside forces beyond their control. Promoting positivity and teaching optimism in the face of challenges isn’t always easy, but it will boost your child’s self-confidence and self-image. Here are a few key ways you can help your child to face life with a positive and optimistic attitude.

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    Lead by Example

    Children model their behavior on the people around them. Being aware of your own reactions and behavior is the first step in teaching your children to confront pessimistic thinking. If you’re stressed out about a situation, show your children how to confront it by remaining calm and trying to find the good, however small it may be. Being honest about your feelings is a way to show your children that it’s okay to feel all kinds of ways without succumbing to pessimistic thinking.

    Communication is Key

    It’s easy for children to let disappointment and negativity run wild when confronted with problems or tough situations. If you observe your child engaging in negative self-talk like “I’ll never be able to do this” or “It’s all my fault,” calmly approach the situation with the aim of discussing it rationally and reasonably. Get all the details, and ask your child how they feel. Discussing an emotional reaction can help children to see a problem in a new light.

    Tackle the Problem Together

    Once you’ve talked through the problem with your child, show your support by helping your child find a solution. Break the issue down into manageable pieces that won’t overwhelm them. If they didn’t do as well on a test as they had hoped, try to pinpoint the areas where they struggled and point out the questions they did well on. Working with your child to solve a problem will help them see themselves as resourceful and resilient, two important building blocks in a healthy self-image.

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    Wall of Love

    You don’t have to wait for a problem to arise to promote positive thinking! There are many ways to teach optimism in your daily life. Designate a wall the “Wall of Love” and use sticky notes to jot down things you love about friends and family. Your children should see you spreading positivity toward others, so that when they do something that makes it on the wall, it means something – and boosts their self-confidence. Keeping a journal of all the good things that happened to them during the day is another effective way to practice positive thinking.

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    Complaining Is Okay – In Moderation

    Inevitably your children are going to complain, and that’s okay. Sometimes they just need to vent. However, you should talk to them to understand the motivation behind the complaining and to make sure that it doesn’t lapse into negative self-talk. If you’re looking for a good way to acknowledge their frustration without encouraging it, challenge them to find two positive things to say for every complaint they make. Doing this will help them look at a situation from all sides and strengthen their resolve.

    Teaching optimism isn’t always easy. But by leading by example and talking with your children about the challenges they face, you’ll be helping them build a healthy, positive, and resourceful attitude that will benefit them for years to come.

    Topics: All, Parenting

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