Optimistic Kids are Confident Children
Would you like to raise an optimistic child? My guest blogger, Elaine Hirsch, studied the research and is here to share her findings. Let's see what she has to say.
All most parents want is for their children to be happy. Often, parents overlook some of the more fundamental steps they can take to ensure the happiness of their children. Many will focus too much on ensuring their children are "successful" in life: making sure they work hard at school, stay out of trouble, and eat and exercise properly.
These are all important steps to take when raising a child, but more critical is the need for parents to ensure the appropriate psychological conditioning of their children: building their self-confidence and resiliency in the face of whatever unexpected disappointments might come their way.
This way, parents ensure children have the right tools to fend for themselves and be happy, regardless of various chance circumstances in their lives.
A building body of evidence tells us that chief among the best ways of breeding these qualities in our children is to help them become optimists. Researchers have identified the evidence of resilience and self-confidence that come from raising optimistic children, and you don't need to earn a PHD online to put their findings into practice.
Here are a few tips to help promote the growth of positive, resilient, optimistic children:
1. Maintain a positive relationship with your child.
Research shows this can be one of the most important factors in the happiness of a developing child or teenager. If their parental relationships are filled with negativity, they will have a hard time keeping this out of the rest of their lives.
2. Help them learn to deal with success.
Guide children in experiencing success by giving them credit, helping them appreciate success, and helping them seek future successes. Remember, though, if you praise everything your child does, praise will quickly lose its effect. Make sure you give praise where praise is due without going over the top.
3. Avoid Negativity.
Though it's important to discourage unwanted behaviors in your children, work on finding ways to correct them positively. Suggest ways to improve their behavior rather tell them repeatedly that it's wrong. Most importantly, never put negative labels on your children when they've done something wrong. Don't label them as good or bad, but define their behaviors (or better yet the outcomes of their behaviors) as bad.
4. Help them find the bright side of everything.
Whenever they fail or have difficulty facing a task, make sure you help them see the positive aspects of the situation. Emphasize the fact that you learn the most when you face failure, and that it's not whether or not you fail that's important in many cases. Show them there is a silver lining to every cloud, and that every new situation should be approached with a positive outlook, regardless of the circumstances.
5. Be a good example.
This is the most important tip of all. Children look to their parents not just for validation, but for direct examples of how to behave, feel, and react to certain situations. If you face situations with optimism and positivity, so will your children.
These are just some of the ways that you can help your children grow to be optimists. In many ways, a good attitude with which to face all the negativity in the world can be the best gift you have to offer them.