There are many reasons why we should encourage optimism in our children, including long-lasting positive effects on their mental and physical well-being. If you do not think of any way to make your child positive, here are some tips to start with.
Wait before reacting
When your child is trying to sound out a new word or taking a long time to fit a piece into a puzzle, it is easy to quickly intervene. But letting your child try to solve problems without your help will definitely boost her sense of accomplishment and also make her more optimistic about what she is capable to do on her own.
Children will not develop an optimistic unless they have the opportunity to prove their worth. A great way is to make them to-do list. Something similar to their day routine: brush teeth, make bed… Assign children to complete tasks makes them feel capable because they believe they can do it. Chores need to be age appropriate, since the point is for kids to succeed. A 2-year-old can pick up her toys, a 3-year-old can put dirty clothes in the hamper, a 4-year-old can carry plates to the sink… Just make sure, they are truly capable to do the task.
Do not complain
Focusing on negative thoughts and frustrations is classic pessimism. The more you moan about getting late or a tough day at work, the more likely it is that your kids will learn to do the same. Instead of complains, try talking about things that go right. Maybe you all could talk about best things that happened to you today during dinner. Try to forget about the thorns, the main goal is to focus on the positive side.
Every parent struggles with trying to protect their kids from getting hurt. It is natural to not let your child skate if he had not done that yet. But discouraging him from doing an activity because he may be not as skilled as other kids undermines his confidence. You just have to start letting go of the reins. Allow your toddler to play alone in the backyard or go on a school field trip without you as a chaperone. Over time, let him do things with bigger risks, like climbing the rock wall at a fair or going to camp. You do not want your child to be afraid to try new things he might like. You want him to come home and see how proud he is that he did it.
Embrace the struggle
A single setback may be enough for kids to concoct a permanent sense of their shortcomings, like “I am not smart. I am not good enough”. To prevent those types of conclusions you should try to change your child’s perspective. Reframe his thoughts more positively. Let him know that new sports are hard to learn at first or that he cannot tell the time yet, but when the time comes, he will. And let him know he is not the only one who is struggling. Many his age children are dealing with the same problems. Help him stay hopeful by mentioning another skill he masters. If he will feel the support, he will be positive about the things he is struggling with.
Keep it real
When you reassure your child that everything is going to turn out great, ironically, it often has the exact opposite effect. Optimism requires thinking more realistically than positively. If you tell your child the truth, your child will be prepared for whatever he faces. If your child struggles with finding friends, you must tell him that it takes time. Yes, he is surely fantastic kid, but he have to wait until someone will understand how awesome he is. Your kid should realize that things will work out somehow. All you have to do is to stay optimistic even though there will be challenges.
It is great to teach your child how to be optimistic. This way you will get more optimistic too, you will see that there is always the bright side. Oh, by the way, smile always help to live a lighter day.