The Mini-Guide to Raising Optimistic Children

There are good number of young people these days who suffer from a lack of self esteem as well as a serious case of disillusionment when it comes to the world in general. Depression runs rampant amongstadolescents,and negative thinking is the norm. But one has to wonder, how is it that these youngsters already have such a jaded view of society and such a poor self image. The sad truth is that the answer to this question most often lies with the way the child was raised.

If a child has parents who constantly make note of how unfair the world is or how you can only get something out of life if you know the right people, then the child is bound to be more of a pessimist and won’t truly have a chance to enjoy life to its fullest. As a parent, you must be keenly aware of the fact that you have a great impact on your child’s mindset, and have the opportunity to make them positive about life.

Why is Optimism so Important?
Being pessimistic can have a variety of adverse side effects on your child. It can not only alter their mood, but it can impact their health and prevent them from reaching their true potential. On the other hand, children who are optimistic have a stronger sense of self and are able to handle life when things don’t go according to plan. If you want to provide your child with the best possible future, then stressing the importance of positivity is key.

How You Can Help your Child to be More Optimistic.
There are a variety of ways that you can help your child to be more optimistic and to develop healthier mental habits. Here are 5 tips to ensuring that your child is a positive thinker:

1. Lead by example.
By not only stressing how important optimism is, but showing that you include positive thinking in your own life, you are leading by example. This means that you are providing your child with an accurate representation of how to include optimism in their lives and how to use it to their advantage. Have patience, however, as this may take time and won’t happen right away. You will need to instill this value within your child over time.

2. Show how feelings are linked to your thoughts.
If you feel a strong negative emotion, rather than lashing out, simply verbalize how your thoughts created negativity. For instance, if someone cuts in front of you in line at the store, then verbalize that you felt angry because someone was rude and cut in line. This will show your child the thought process behind negative feelings, and allow for them to work through them in a rational way.

3. Encourage them to share their feelings
. When something negative happens in your child’s life, ask them how they felt about the situation. For instance, if they don’t get a good grade on their homework, then ask them how it made them feel. Carry out this exercise for large and small events alike, as negativity can occur with even the tiniest of occurrences, and you want to stress optimism to your child as often as possible.

4. Teach your child that all thoughts are not equal.
Teach your child that the things they say to themselves aren’t always true, especially thoughts that demean them or their abilities. There are many statements that we make to ourselves which are automatic, but far from true. These personal statements have the ability to fuel negativity.

5. Show them how to explain negative events properly.
Teach your child how to see negative events in the proper light and to not over exaggerate what actually happened. Instead, let them know that it’s always good to look at the positive side of things.

Another important thing to teach your child to avoid is what I like to call the “make the mountain out of a mole hill effect”. If your child is able to view things as they really are, without blowing them out of proportion, then they will be more positive about the situation and will be able to better deal with it.

Parents instill values into their children, and we have to make sure that we try to avoid negativity when doing this, as you may just be surprised at what your child picks up by following your example.

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