5 ways to raise an optimistic child

November 03, 2017
  • If he doubts himself in school…
    1 / 5 If he doubts himself in school…

    Your six-year-old pessimistically assures you that he is bound to fumble during show-and-tell tomorrow because he did not practise hard enough.

    How you can help: Treat him seriously when he reacts this way, and don’t dismiss his reaction as silly or immature – his lack of optimism is genuine. Remind him that he has done well in previous sessions.

    Tell him to try his best, and offer to practise with him the next time.

    Related: 5 ways to raise a bilingual child

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  • If he is pessimistic about making friends at school…
    2 / 5 If he is pessimistic about making friends at school…

    Friendships are especially important at this age. He wants to have plenty of pals, but may have doubts about his ability to form new relationships.

    How you can help: Point out that he is wonderful, fun-loving and good company, and recall how easily he made friends when he first went to playschool or to music class.

    Keep him focused on his previous social successes. When he feels good about himself, other children will want him as their friend.

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  • If he struggles to ride a bicycle…
    3 / 5 If he struggles to ride a bicycle…

    Cycling is so easy… when you know how. But for a child trying to master this complex physical challenge, a few false starts can easily knock his confidence. He soon tells you he’ll never learn how to do this.

    How you can help: Explain that everybody takes time to master cycling, that all his pals have the same experience.

    Tell him firmly and confidently that he’ll master it eventually if he practises regularly, and that he should not worry about temporary slip-ups along the way. Encourage him to persist, even though his progress is slower than he had hoped.

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  • If he makes a silly mistake in front of the whole class…
    4 / 5 If he makes a silly mistake in front of the whole class…

    He gave a wrong answer to the teacher’s question and everyone else had a good chuckle at his mistake. Now he says he is too embarrassed to speak out again.

    How you can help: Encourage him to see the funny side of this incident – humour is part of optimism, and if your child learns to laugh at himself and his catastrophes occasionally, he’ll be more resistant to knocks and disappointments.

    Explain that even the smartest child in school has times when he makes blunders in front of others.

    Related: 3 ways to raise a kind child

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  • If he has pre-performance jitters…
    5 / 5 If he has pre-performance jitters…

    It’s soon time for him to appear in the preschool’s year-end concert and suddenly he tells you that he isn’t good enough. He begs you to allow him to call in sick so that he won’t have to perform.

    How you can help: Don’t even wait for that to happen. Keep his optimism high right from the start by ensuring he prepares properly for his performance.

    He needs to take control, by attending all the classes, listening to the teacher and practising the dances regularly. If he does all that, he will remain optimistic.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: How to raise a child with critical thinking skills

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