Parenting and Raising Optimistic Kids

very optimistic and happy young boyIt makes common sense, but optimistic people enjoy better health, a longer life, and have less stress than a pessimistic person. An optimistic person will also achieve more in their life than a pessimist. You can subtly influence your child toward optimism. Optimism and healthy self-esteem can be taught and will help your child throughout their life.

How do you raise an optimistic child? There are several important ways to help your child learn to be an optimist. Help them to focus on their successes. Self-esteem and optimism can be learned and you can help your child while they are young. Give them simple jobs to do and praise them when they succeed. Even small children can help with simple chores and experience success when they are finished.

When your child experiences a success, focus on praising the traits that helped them to succeed. Did they study extra hard for a test? Praising them for their perseverance and hard work will encourage them to do the same for the next test. Praise feels good, and praise will breed optimism. Don’t tell your child everything they do is wonderful and great. You will help them more by helping them experience a success and face problems and obstacles on the way to succeeding. Children will soon see through empty praise. You should recognize when their efforts were not successful also. Encourage them to continue to do their best and make every effort to succeed the next time they are facing a challenge.

Help your child look for ways to improve. If they do fail, you can recognize the failure but help them to look back at the other successes they have enjoyed. Looking for opportunities to help your child improve is instilling optimism. It does not place blame on failures and helps the child to look at external circumstances to see if there was another reason for failure.

Look on the bright side of life. If you are an optimist, your child will learn optimism from you. Help them to look for the silver lining in every cloud. If it is raining and they cannot go outside and play, help them to see how much fun they will have in creating a scrapbook or craft item in the house. Help them to see the benefit of extra study or reading time while they are forced to stay indoors. Bake some cookies, do something that will make the day special, stay focused on positive activities.

Your are your childs most powerful role model. Let your children see you as an example of optimism. As our children’s role models and they will mimic our actions for years in the future. Practice optimistic thinking and when you achieve a success, do not downplay it with false modesty. Let yourself have the credit for a job well done. If things do not go well, don’t dwell on failures. Instead, keep the events in perspective and look forward to future successes. Whether you like it or not, your children will often follow your example. Be an optimistic parent to raise optimistic children.

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August 7, 2007

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August 3, 2009

Great article! The point you make about praising the traits that allowed your child to be successful instead of the success itself is one I agree with.

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