5 Tips For Raising An Optimist

by | August 13, 2018

Have you been wondering about raising an optimist?

We all want our kids to see the world with a ‘glass half full’ mentality, but how do we instill this in them? Kids who see the world with an optimistic view tend to be better at dealing with life’s challenges. Here are 5 tips for raising an optimist.

Stop complaining.

Do you often catch yourself worrying out loud about menial things in your day to day life? Focusing on negative thoughts while your children can hear is pessimistic, and if your child hears you complain about little things it is more likely that they will learn to do the same. Instead, try to focus on positive things that happened during your day, play a game with your kids at the end of the day where you say the worst and best things that happened to you. Try to make them focus on the positive side of things and realize that everything isn’t so bad.

Encourage reasonable risk-taking.

I’m not talking about encouraging them to go cliff jumping at 6 years old, but reasonable age appropriate things. We all try to protect our kids from getting hurt, but we can’t keep them in a bubble forever. Falling off the monkey bars in the playground might be embarrassing, and they might get some scraped knees, but you want to encourage them to keep trying until they get it. This also gives them a determination that will help them to succeed later in life. This is an important Step in raising an optimist.

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Wait before reacting.

As your child gets older, especially when they reach school level, they might be faced with situations where other children say mean things etc. Your first instinct may be to phone the other child’s parents, but the better option is to talk to your child about the situation and discuss what they can say to the child the next time something happens. Curbing your ‘mama bear’ instincts may be hard. Try not to be so quick to intervene when your child is doing something new, like sounding out a new word, or taking just a little too long to fit in that jigsaw puzzle piece.

Embrace the struggle.

For some children, if they fail at something the first time they try it, they may be inclined to give up and not try it again. To help prevent these types of situations, try to change your childs perspective on the task. Reframing your child’s thoughts to a more positive outlook may be as simple as saying ‘hey remember that time when you couldn’t read? Well you can do it now and look how much effort that took! I bet you can do this math problem if we sit down and work through it together.’ Always try to focus on the positive with your children and this will help in raising an optimist.

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Keep it real

Optimism isn’t just about being positive all of the time, and you don’t want to give your children false hope either. It is a balance between being positive and realistic, for example, if you move to a new area and your child complains that they have no new friends in this area. Don’t automatically tell them that they’re going to make friends because they’re a fabulous kid, because if they don’t make friends right away they will see it as their own flaws. Instead try to be realistic with your child. Say things like, ‘it’s challenging to move to a new place and start over again, but you can do this.’ Offer to bring them to the park, or ask them if they want to try out some local sports clubs etc. The best way to meet new people is to get out there and put yourself in social situations, after all, no one makes friends sitting at home watching tv.

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Alex Jones

Associate Editor, USA | Contactable via [email protected]

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