Having an optimistic approach towards life is very important. It teaches you to have hope when things don’t seem to be going your way. It also teaches you to realize that even with all its ups and downs, life is beautiful and there is always something to look forward to.
Optimism is an important value you can instill in your children, and it teaches your child that failure is not the end and that things will change for the better. It helps your child deal with life situations in a positive manner and learn from his/her mistakes instead of giving up. Now, how do you instill this optimistic attitude in your child?
Here are 6 tips to help you raise your child as an optimist.
1. Teach by example
Your child looks up to you for advice and learns from what he/she sees you doing. You are your child’s first teacher, so it is up to you to teach by example by setting a healthy and optimistic atmosphere in your home. You have to watch what you say and how you handle situations when your child is around. You can teach your child by taking a positive look at things, developing healthy coping skills, discussing life’s challenges and responding to positive and negative circumstances with an optimistic outlook.
2. Teach your child to look on the bright side
As hard as it may seem to be, you will have to explain to your child that sometimes people or situations may not always be good, and that there might be bad too. However, it is up to us whether we want to take back something negative or positive. So, teach your child to look for the upside in even the most negative of situations as things will sooner or later change for the better. Under circumstances when the situation is apparently unfixable, help your child understand there’s always something to be learned from making a mistake. Focus on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative.
3. Give genuine praise
Praise is a weird thing and its extremes have varied outcomes. Always remember that giving your child genuine praise is important as your child is always seeking your attention and approval. But when you praise them too much, it tends to go to their head and spoils them. On the other hand, when you don’t praise them at all, it makes them depressed and demotivated and they feel like they aren’t good enough in your eyes. So, let your child know when he/she has done something well, but also if they haven’t, acknowledge that too in a proper manner to help them understand.
4. Embrace failure and struggle together
Teach your child to be confident and take reasonable risks, and sometimes when they are faced with struggles or failure, teach them how to embrace it. Help your child learn that struggle and failure is a part of life, and it is not the end of the world, but a chance for them to start again and an opportunity to begin again and give it another go. Support them and help them understand where they went wrong and how there is so much to learn from failure and struggles, and failure does not make you a small person.
5. Be encouraging and affectionate
Your children need your love, affection, and encouragement. It’s like a voice in their head that tells them to keep going. Teach them to not give up and that you have got their back and you love them. Don’t be afraid to hug or cuddle. Choose to show how much you care about them with the supportive and loving words you choose. Being affectionate and encouraging makes your child more hopeful and your child to build trust in the world being a generally good and safe place, which in turn helps nurture optimism.
6. Listen to your child
If your child opens up and is trying to share his/her problems with you, listen to them! Sometimes, the best thing you can do is be supportive. Take them seriously and don’t judge as your child shares his/her piece. Showing your child you understand and are trying to be supportive will help create a better bond between you and also make them hopeful. It makes them feel loved, understood, and safe, and allows them to feel more comfortable about reaching out when they need help. A caring relationship helps in nurturing hope and optimism.