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see the glass HALF FULL…

…then fill it the rest of the way

see the glass HALF FULL…  …then fill it the rest of the way

As your child learns and grows, you may have noticed a familiar lament crop up almost as soon as they have the words to say it. “I can’t do it! I’m so stupid! I’m no good at anything!”

These words can be in response to anything, from being unable to write the letter “A” to their satisfaction to drawing a picture that other people recognize. We are often quick to reassure our children that of course, they aren’t stupid (as well we should) but how we handle these moments goes well beyond comforting them in a moment of frustration.

Studies show that children who can be optimistic and see the glass as half full tend to be more successful in many different ways than those who see it as half empty. They are more resilient, less likely to have depression, often make more money as adults, and are generally much happier than those with a more pessimistic view.

It’s tempting to think that this is based only on personality, but even a child who is constantly pessimistic can be helped to see the good in things. Here are some examples of positive parenting methods you can use to help your child see the silver lining in the dark and stormy clouds of life.

help your child reframe situations to be more positive

Have you ever noticed that there are two words for almost everything? “Pushy” versus “Assertive,” or “Nosey” versus “Curious.” One of these words has a good meaning, and the other a negative meaning. You can change how situations are viewed by reframing situations in the same way.

You can do this in several ways. If your children are complaining about how cold it is outside, reframe it! Show them how they can play dress up with your sweaters and hats to come up with an outfit that’s both fun and fit for a winter wonderland.

Are they unhappy about carrots for dinner? Reframe it! Give them fun names or decide what superpowers they might give you. A study at Stanford found that vegetables which were given new, more decadent names, were 25% more likely to be purchased than if they were given names that sounded healthy. The simple act of reframing vegetables made them more desirable, even though nothing else had changed.

show your child the silver lining in every storm cloud

Bad things happen. Sometimes terrible and inexplicable things, and that is part of life. Being able to see the good in the bad not only makes difficult things easier to handle, but it can also help your child avoid depression and live a happier, more fulfilled life. There is always a silver lining to even the most difficult of circumstances, and helping your child find it can be joyous in its own way.

help your child to fill their cup all the way up

Teach your child that how we see the things that happen to us in life is a choice. A toy that is broken may pave the way for a budding engineer to fix it—maybe even make it better. A lost library book can reveal other beloved items in the search for it. Optimism is a precious commodity, and by looking for the positives we can make a better and brighter future for the world.

filling others glasses

Once you instill in your child the importance of seeing things optimistically and the ability to choose to have a positive attitude, they will become much more aware of when others are choosing to be negative. With this awareness and the tools to see situations in a better perspective, they will not only set an example of optimism but be equipped to help encourage those around them. So let’s teach our children that there is an abundance of joy, happiness, optimism, and positivity to fill every glass.

reading to instill and inspire optimism

In addition to telling our children to be optimistic, it is also great to reinforce this message through reading children’s books with them. The following books do a wonderful job!

Another awesome resource is Big Life Journal. Through their printables, journals and other engaging products, you are equipped with the right tools to help instill resiliency, a strong growth mindset, as well as teach your child to have a positive and optimistic perspective.

coloring fun

Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.

Download PDF • 296KB

share with us

We would love to hear your experiences and advice on encouraging children to be optimistic. Are there any books or resources you feel can help? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment below!

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