The ability to be afraid and still dare anyway is optimism. Optimism can show us the light, even on our darkest days and is such an important skill to teach children. An international school in Hertfordshire shares tips on how to raise an optimistic child.
- Allow Risk
It’s a parent’s duty and instinct to protect their children from risk but in doing so we can often create pessimistic behaviour. By allowing children to take calculated risks, we can see an increase in their optimism and faith in themselves. This might be to let them ride a bike, make their own breakfast or go to the shops by themselves. This activity would depend on the age of the child and need to be of low to moderate risk.
- Avoid Negative Language
‘This is too hard; I can’t do this’ is an example of what we mean by negative language. Over time, hearing your parents or influential people in your life talk negatively about their ability can be internalised and lead a child to believe that they are not capable. Instead, talk in a more positive light by saying things like ‘this is hard but I’m going to try anyway’ or ‘It’s hard but if I give up, I’ll never know what I’m capable of’.
- Biographies and Role Models
Positive role models and success stories can help to build your child’s optimism. This works by creating evidence-based hope that it is possible to achieve your dreams despite the obstacles and be a great source of comfort during difficult times. Other sources that you may want to refer to are TED talks and motivational speakers that are experienced in creating optimism.
- Find Their Passion
A passion or a talent can help your child to find their purpose or calling in life to be optimistic about. By exercising this and seeing progress, your child can develop self-belief and further extend their optimism.