Wondering how to raise an optimistic child ? Life is so full of surprises and many are the times that they won’t be surprises we like. Looking around, the news is filled with heartbreaking events from all over the world and it can easily erode a lot of your positivity. People with a positive outlook on life are better at handling any challenges that come their way and tend to be happier as well. Beginning this trend from a young age is a great asset and will put children a step ahead, including a long and full life. Wondering how to bring your child as an optimist? Start with these six steps.
- Hold your breath before you react
Whenever you are caught in a situation, take a step back and weigh the options first. What is it that you want your child to learn from all this? Once you answer this question you should be able to find a better response to the situation. Resist the urge to lash out at anyone that wrongs you or your child and instead calm down. Your child will learn to keep calm and defend himself or simply choose his battles wisely.
- Stop complaining
Things can go wrong and that’s normal but how you react to them makes all the difference. Complaining about things yields a lot of negativity even with those around you. Your child is listening and he picks up on it. Next thing you know he’s complaining about dinner taking too long or about his sibling getting all the good stuff. Pessimism can be so draining and it shouldn’t be encouraged. Instead, focus on the good things and keep hope alive.
- Set the bar high
Positivity is all about a ‘can-do’ attitude which therefore means there must be something to do. For children it may start small with some chores at home. Many parents worry that their children aren’t ready for these activities but you can’t know for certain until you offer them something to do.
Post a list of activities such as making the bed, putting toys away, dressing up on their own or brushing their teeth. When a kid does any of these they will come to you beaming with pride as they make their announcement, “Mummy I brushed my teeth! Look how clean they are!” That not only builds the child’s confidence but warms your heart and reduces your workload too. Everybody wins.
- Encourage your child to take reasonable risks
Many parents want to shield their kids from the big bad world and all its avenues for hurt but it can sometimes be counterproductive. Your child may get embarrassed when he falls in public but he quickly picks himself up and tries again.
At this point you need to let go and to encourage your child to engage in the activities he likes. Let him take that field trip without you hovering over his shoulder. Increase the size of risks as he grows older so that he becomes open to trying new things.
- Use positive words in times of a struggle or challenge
There are times when your child will fail at something and he may start confessing negative things about himself. Failing a single test may have him conclude that he is not smart enough and this kills his spirit. Encourage him with positive phrases such as ‘It may be hard at first but you will get the hang of it with time.’ Remind him of a skill he learned along the way and the work he put in to get where he is and reassure him that he will learn the new skill too.
- Stay honest
Many times parents want to stretch the story a little further to make their children happy or lift their spirit. This doesn’t always work and many children see through it. The best thing to do is to give an optimistic but realistic answer. This will prepare him for any eventuality thus reducing the frequency of heartbreak.
Take all these steps in your stride and practice them as well. Your child will benefit from seeing you practicing them and will also emulate you. To positive living!