- Posted on Nov 2, 2016
Why is optimism important?
An optimistic child is strong, enterprising and resilient. He or she does not wait passively for good things to happen to him or her. The optimist consciously plans, works hard to make things happen, and persists through challenges.
Research shows important benefits:
• A healthier heart and a greater ability to fight infections and survive disease
• Better response to stress
• Less likelihood to develop anxiety and depression
• More success in school, sports, social and recreational activities
• Greater accomplishments in life
Does your child tend toward optimism or pessimism? Is the glass half empty or half full? Which would your child say, “It doesn’t matter… I won’t get it right anyway,” or “I did my best… I’ll get it next time”? Optimism is a learned skill that you can teach your child at home. Here are some important tips.
Model positive behaviors and attitudes:
“This is tough, but I can do it!”
“I will find that lost pair of socks!”
Create an environment that fosters love and trust.
When children have a sense of security and trust at home, they view the world as a positive place to explore and try new things.
Encourage your child to view life in a positive way and to rise above negativity. For example, one of our favorite techniques is “Rise up! Don’t dwell on it.” If someone did or said something hurtful to your child, teach your child to pause. Have her ask herself “How important is it? Will it matter in 5 minutes, 5 months, or in 5 years?” Think of the big picture.
Another is to approach mistakes calmly. Say “Oops!” and move on.
Validate your child’s feelings of disappointment or sadness, but teach your child that failures and mistakes are opportunities to learn and do something different and better.
After all, in life “Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
Sarah Caudle, PA-C