How do you raise an optimist? It seems like a daunting task in a world where everything seems to be spiraling out of control. However, it’s essential for the child’s longterm well-being.
Studies show that a child who sees the glass half full has more chances to live longer, heal faster, and to be more successful both in his or her personal and professional life. Optimistic children have better coping mechanisms and are more likely to bounce back after a setback.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “There is evidence that optimistic people present a higher quality of life compared to those with low levels of optimism or even pessimists. Optimism may significantly influence mental and physical well-being by the promotion of a healthy lifestyle as well as by adaptive behaviours and cognitive responses, associated with greater flexibility, problem-solving capacity and a more efficient elaboration of negative information.”
Although some children seem to be more predisposed to have a sunshiny disposition than others, optimism is also a learned behavior. This list will give you some essential tips on how to raise an optimist.
1. Model an Optimistic Attitude Yourself
It’s easy to get caught up in the grind of daily life and complain out loud about your frustrations. Whether it’s at home, during your morning commute, or out running errands, your children hear every word you say. Since little ones tend to mirror whatever you do, watch what you are tempted to utter and find something positive to say instead.
These phrases can be hard to catch — instead of taking them out of your vocabulary, try filling in the gaps with positive reflections. Tell your child about something that went well at work, or something good you’re anticipating for the week.