A few days ago, while talking to a friend, I was really impressed by something she said. She said that in her house, no one can use the word “NO”; and this does not apply only to the kids but even to the parents. So, even if they have to say no to something, they will say “maybe later” or explain without using the negatives. While this might seem to be difficult, with some effort, patience and practice this is possible. And when I see her children, they are so full of positivity and ready to take on anything.
This made me think of how small acts, examples, and practices mold our children’s attitude and confidence. And this made me seek for some best practices from parents who I felt are making an effort to raise optimistic children.
Here are some simple techniques that will help in raising optimistic children who are more confident and not afraid to take on challenges and try out anything that comes their way
Start with yourself
Children learn by watching and not by listening. So, to teach them anything you need to show them how. Your children watch your interactions, your actions, and behaviors and thus it is important to set the right example. So, if you are running late but stuck in traffic, instead of complaining use that time to tell them a story or jokes and have fun in the car while waiting. If your maid comes late one morning, instead of complaining show them the fun by enjoying doing some chores together. Your actions and reactions are their best teachers
Eliminate the negatives from your vocabulary
Try adopting a system where you eliminate the use of words like ‘not’, ‘can’t’, ‘impossible’ – basically the negatives. And try replacing them with the positives. This will make you think before talking and eventually, your mind will be conditioned to be more positive, more optimistic
Praise their effort, not the outcome
Everyone, especially children love praises. But while praising your children always focus on the effort. This will teach them to try, especially in difficult situations, when they are not sure of the outcome. For example, if your child is playing a sport and wins a game, praise the effort that went while practicing, or how he could balance practice along with studies. This will make them believe in themselves, their abilities. And if, maybe the next game would be against a very strong team, they would believe in their effort and go to play with optimism.
Encourage them to dream big
Always encourage their dreams and push them to dream big. When you discuss their aspirations, their likes, their goals, there should be no boundaries whatsoever. So, if they say they want to be the greatest magician ever or go to the moon – don’t laugh it off but encourage them. Tell them it is possible. Talk to them about your aspirations too, or what you aim to achieve. The sky is the limit and only if they are encouraged to dream big, will they have the optimism and confidence to achieve them all.
Allow them to fail
As they grow, give them tasks and responsibilities that might be difficult for them to complete. Activities that they would need to put in more effort than normal. And allow them to try, fail at times and then finally be able to complete it. Appreciate their efforts even if they fail, teach them, correct them when required. These will be their foundations for optimism.
Communication, discussions and setting an example from as early an age as possible will take you a long way when it comes to raising optimistic children and grooming then towards positivity. And this ultimately translates into self-confidence – something which is of utmost importance in today’s world
Signing off with the lyrics of “I believe I can fly”
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day (Night and day)
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me