How To Raise An Optimist
Extensive research shows that positive people tend to lead a much happier and fulfilling life than their pessimistic counterparts. The best gift you can give your child — arguably — is raising them with a positive mindset complemented by an abundance mentality. They will grow to see life from a very different dimension and perspective compared to the average kid. This, combined with confidence and laser-like focus, is an indisputable recipe for success later on in their life.
Here’s a quick primer on how you can teach your children to adopt an optimistic mindset.
- Stop Complaining; Offer Solutions Instead
A general trait among pessimistic individuals is focusing too much energy and time on complaining, instead of coming up with practical solutions. Seemingly harmless phrases such as, ‘Ooh my, this looks terribly bad!’ when his kid’s bike is not working, for example, instills pessimism, desperation and negativity in the young lad’s mindset in more ways than you would ever know. Regardless of how stressful, upsetting or disappointing a situation is, avoid negative self-talk as much as you can especially in the presence of your children. The problem with complaining and grumbling, especially from an adult whom the children look up to, is that it cuts deeper than most parents realize. It undercuts tolerance and resilience, compromises the child’s self-confidence and breeds pessimism.
- Always Project High Expectations Especially in Matters Revolving Around Your Kid
Your children will never grow up to believe in their abilities if you never display confidence that they can prosper in their endeavors. Let them know that you expect a lot from them, whether at school or just how they conduct themselves in social functions. This kind of positive discipline instilled at a very early stage in one’s life will help them strive to maximize their potential in whatever the set their mind to do. Besides, what’s a better way of banishing self-doubt and a defeatist mentality by expressing zen confidence in your youngster’s potential?
- Delegate Minor Duties Around the House
The average child will never display a positive and ‘can-do’ mindset if they never have the opportunity to prove their mettle. Refrain from doing everything for your child as early as possible; it can be as soon as three. Let them learn how to brush their teeth, make their bed, pick up their toys or help with the dishes.
If anything, age appropriate chores have been closely linked to forging the desire to prove oneself and, as a direct result, imparting a healthy, optimistic mindset. Also, don’t forget to dish out well-deserved praise whenever they manage to complete a task on their own or with minimal help from you. This will not only encourage them to strive to do better but it is also a proven catalyst for developing an optimistic outlook on life.
- Encourage Reasonable and Well-thought out Risk-taking
All parents struggle to protect their children from the harsh inescapable reality- to gain anything meaningful in life, you have to put yourself out there and risk failing dismally. Nonetheless, let them know that there’s no easy way around this. You have to risk and court failure before you’re declared a victor. Instead of discouraging them from taking on challenging or uphill tasks (or sports for that matter), encourage them to go ahead and try new things regardless of how daunting as they may look. At the end of the day, you don’t want your child to shy away from opportunities masked as risky undertakings; you want them to come home from school or a trip and say, ‘Yes, I did it!’
- Walk with Them Through the Struggle
It is likely that your kid will have problems trying to fit in or being as good as his friends in class or sports. It is during such trying moments that most children develop an unhealthy defeatist mindset made even worse with a negative outlook. In fact, you’re likely to hear statements such as ‘I stink at algebra’ or ‘I can’t play soccer’ from your child often. That’s part of growing up. It is your duty to display empathy and reassure them, though authoritatively, that all will be well with time. Responses like, “I used to have a problem with math too, but with practice, I became better,” from you can really go a long way.
Megan P. Richardson is a mother of 3 lovely kids and the founder of Kudkid . She created this blog as a gift to her kids. Kudkid is concentrated on discussing about fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice and sharing them to help you through pregnancy, birth and raising your kids.
Originally published at Kaboutjie.