Do you want to help your child to become more optimistic, in a world where we are now more pessimistic than ever? As a mother, and as a human, I have a tendency to look on the bright side of life, even with my ‘eyes wide open’ realistic views of the world. I tend to believe and instinctively trust that everyone is good, or at least has some good in them. Some might call this naivety, but I’m okay with that.
I do worry that the last year of letdowns, bad news, fake news, and the sheer bombardment of news about coronavirus and its impact on the world at large, as well as our own immediate family life, has made us all more negative.
I see it in my kids, the idea that they can no longer confidently look forward to something because we always have to caveat it with, ‘hopefully’ or ‘let’s hope it happens’, or ‘fingers crossed we don’t have another lockdown!’ Unfortunately, it’s made pessimists of us all, including our kids. So how do we go about helping our kids to be more optimistic?
AD | Guest Post
I believe that teaching our children to approach life positively will help them overcome any hurdles they face and tackle challenges with a can-do and positive attitude. This, in turn, will boost their self-esteem and their confidence as they deal with obstacles head-on, rather than shying away from them. Being more optimistic can foster their sense of gratitude for the things they have in life. The following is a guest post that provides some useful tips on how to help your child to become more optimistic from an independent school in Surrey.
How To Help Your Child To Become More Optimistic
Support them to overcome problems
It’s important to teach our children that problems are usually temporary and can be dealt with one way or another and that we have the power to conquer them. You can help foster this attitude in your child by encouraging them to see problems as opportunities for learning and growth. If they’re finding something difficult, remind them of a time when they struggled with something else but managed to move through it so they remember that they’re capable of tackling hurdles and moving on from them.
Demonstrating a solution-focused approach in the way you behave will rub off on your child and encourage them to act in the same way, in turn it will help your child to become more optimistic about conquering their problems.
Reflect on the positives
Ask your child to reflect on positive things that have happened in their day and what they’re grateful for. This can help reverse their thinking patterns from negative to positive if they tend to dwell on what’s gone wrong. Encourage them to spend more time thinking about the positive aspects of life than the negative ones, and recognise the silver linings. If it helps, buy your child a new journal where they can jot down the good things that have happened each day and the things they’re grateful for.
Try to avoid catastrophizing in front of your child and encourage them to look at the bigger picture and the reality of a situation if they’re blowing something out of proportion (aka, being a drama queen!) Ask them to take a step back and think more hopefully about something they want. Make sure you reinforce that they have the power to influence events and what happens in their life and so that is reason to stay hopeful, rather than feeling that things are out of their control.
A great way to do this is to practice mindfulness for children. Mindfulness teaches children to process how they are feeling and why, and that also helps them to feel more in control of the situation.
As with most things, modelling optimistic behaviour yourself, such as reframing situations in a positive way and identifying the learning gained from setbacks, will teach your child that challenges can be overcome and they can achieve their goals if they approach life with optimism.
I hope you found this post useful. So many things these days are out of our control, but allowing our children to see the bright side of even the darkest days will teach them to actively seek out the good, that’s how to help your child to become more optimistic.