Life can be challenging and difficult. As helpful as it can be to remain realistic about life, optimism still has power to do good things. It can act as a motivator as well as a means of thinking positively, even if things don’t turn out the way you expected. Being optimistic can help provide you with a perspective that is healthy but helpful, and raising a child to be optimistic can be both enriching and enlightening as a parent.
A New Twist on Complaining
Finding something to complain about is easy, but if you stop and catch yourself you might realize that the thing you were griping about wasn’t actually that bad. Kids mimic their parents’ behaviors, and things like constant complaining can be something they learn from you if you do it often enough. Complaining comes naturally, and it’s easy to give in to feeling annoyed or inconvenienced, but if you stop and think for a moment, you may be able to find a positive side to things. Kids can learn a lot from this kind of behavior, and if you find your child complaining too, don’t discredit their feelings but instead provide an alternative. If your child is complaining that they can’t go to the park because it’s raining, provide them with ideas for indoor activities, get them excited about the other things they can do instead. This kind of behavior can become a habit, and when it’s second-nature, you may find yourself naturally complaining less – and your kids as well.
If there is something bothering your child, take the time to ask them about it and work along with them to find a solution. Sometimes, if things aren’t working out, kids may want to quit or give up what they’re doing, whether they are trying to solve a math problem for homework or learn how to ride a bike. Providing support and encouragement can help kids learn valuable lessons, especially when they see that they aren’t alone.
Share a Story
For kids, everything is new. When new problems or scenarios develop, it may be a completely fresh experience for them. When things go wrong, or not as expected, kids may feel sad, upset or even devastated. Try to share a similar story from your everyday life or your childhood to show them that everyone has difficulties and that they can be overcome. Providing a similar success story, or even a not-so-successful story, can help kids relate to others while also being less hard on themselves when things don’t go their way.