27th February 2019

Skill #12 Optimism

What is Optimism?

Optimism goes beyond seeing the bright side of a situation or expecting good things. It's also a way of explaining what has already happened. When something good happens, optimists think about what they did to make the situation turn out so well. They see their abilities as permanent, stable parts of themselves. They think of how this good thing can lead to other good things. When things don't go as expected, it's the reverse: Optimists don't blame themselves. They see setbacks as temporary. When something goes wrong, optimists link it to a specific situation or event, not their capabilities. Because they don't view setbacks as personal failings, optimists are able to bounce back from disappointment better than pessimists.

Why is it necessary?

Optimism lets us see disappointing events as temporary situations that we can get past. It strengthens us to try again rather than give up. It allows us to keep our goals and dreams in play so we can act on the motivation to keep working toward them. Because of this, optimistic people feel more in control of their situations and have higher self-esteem. Optimism isn't about seeing everything as rosy. Optimists don't ignore problems or pretend life is perfect. They just choose to focus on what's good about a situation and what they can do to make things better. Optimists have true confidence because they're prepared: They know they need to study if they want to ace a tough test. They know they can't make the basketball team without practising. We give our young ones a sense of unfailing hope and teach them to search for happiness. Optimism is often overlooked in the face of mightier qualities like ‘honesty’, ‘integrity’ and ‘confidence’. These are qualities that they’ll discover anyway while teaching your child how to remain optimistic is something that’ll remain with them for a long time. Children who practice optimistic thinking are more resilient, they are less likely to give up in the face of challenge and they tend to interpret experiences in a way that gives them a sense of control and confidence.

10 tips to build Optimism

  1. Model optimism
  2. Foster an attitude of gratitude in your kids
  3. Allow them to experience success and take reasonable risks
  4. Shelter them from unnecessary stress
  5. Help them quiet their negative self-talk
  6. Teach them to put things into perspective
  7. Give credit for effort, not result
  8. Don't blame yourself when things go wrong.
  9. Remind them that setbacks are temporary.
  10. When something good happens, give yourself credit.
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