Optimism is what motivates us and allows us to have a positive mental attitude. Parents should help their children become more optimistic, using the following tips from an independent school in London, to prepare them for many of life’s obstacles.
Encourage your child to talk about the future and what they’re looking forward to. It could be the imminent future, like something fun you’re doing at the weekend, or the far of future, like what they want to be when they grow up. Use mealtimes, when you’re all together as a family, to take it in turns to discuss some of the things you’re looking forward to and any goals you’d like to achieve. Be a good role model and show your child that it’s perfectly ok to talk about the future in a positive way, even if life feels tough at that very moment.
Gratitude is also an important element of optimism because it allows us to look for positive aspects of our lives. After school each day, ask your child if there’s anything they are grateful for. Lead by example by sharing something of your own, even if it seems minor, like a delicious lunch or a colleague making you a cup of tea.
Help your child develop a growth mindset. When they face a setback or make a mistake, remind them that they’re only human and they will be more prepared next time. Let them know that even adults are faced with challenges and all we can do is try and best and learn from our experiences. If they break a vase or get a bad grade on a test, don’t be hard on them as this will only make them insecure. Try and put a positive spin on it by saying something like “Thank you for owning up to breaking the vase and helping me clean up” or “I’m proud of you for trying your best on the test and now that you know where you went wrong, you can be even more prepared next time”.