Optimism is a great trait and can be a useful tool in helping to overcome hurdles in life. Contrary to what some might believe, optimism doesn’t mean never seeing the clouds on the horizon, but it’s about believing that you are able to blow them away.
To create a leader in optimism means starting in childhood and as parents you can help carve out this path. Here are seven top tips in how you can contribute to raising a child to be a leader who is also optimistic.
Top leadership activities for kids
There are loads of games to play that encourage children to have fun and grow, some as simple as playing outdoors on swings or ones that get them thinking in a manner that help them develop into contributing members of society.
1. Get Active
This may sound like a strange suggestion but it’s been repeatedly proven that there’s a strong link between exercise and mood. Being active releases feel good endorphins which not only provide a short-term lift, they can also rejuvenate mental health in the long term too.
When a child exercises they’ll experience the following surge in their mood and notice that they’ve been able to influence how they feel. This provides a real sense of control and authority, giving them the all-important optimistic outlook on life.
This is good for kids in lots of different ways, including helping to create an optimistic mindset. Meditating decreases stress which can be harmful to both physical and mental health.
As well as feeling calmer, your child will feel more in control which is one of the core components of optimism.
3. Practice Gratitude
At the end of each day it can be easy to hang on to the negatives and forget about all the good things that have happened. Over time this can influence your mindset and start to damage optimism.
To counteract this natural human inclination, at the end of the day, it’s a good idea to consciously think about positives. Perhaps at the dinner table or when you are putting your child to bed, list three good things that have happened that day. It doesn’t matter how small the positives may be, the goal is to focus the mind on being optimistic and celebrating successes rather than brooding over things that didn’t go quite as well.
4. Purposeful Play
Technology has its place in modern society and it can even be educational for children. However too much can be damaging and dulls the senses that you are trying to stimulate.
Limit the amount of screen time your child can have every day and instead pick an activity which is more challenging, such as Lego. A toy that’s been around for many decades and still holds the same amount of appeal, with Lego your child can tackle a challenge. Whether this is one you set, something they choose themselves or simply building something following the given instructions in the Lego box, finishing a Lego set can provide a real sense of accomplishment in a child.
This self-belief that they can achieve what they set out to do becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as your child believes that they have the ability to succeed.
5. Being Kind to Others
Altruistic acts do just as much for the individual as it does for those who are receiving the help. Being kind to others is its own reward, bringing a sense of purpose and of inner harmony.
When you do something to help another person you receive the benefit of seeing the outcome, and you receive a surge of feel-good hormones that help to minimize stress and strengthens your resolve to do the same again.
This has a genuine place in developing optimism as it reinforces the view that a child’s own actions can change the world around them.
6. Model the Behavior
No matter what you say, if your actions deliver a different message you will never get the child to take you seriously. To get any youngster to listen, you need to be the living embodiment of everything you’re trying to teach.
Model determination, optimism and positivity and that attitude will be observed and absorbed by the child.
7. Keep a Journal
Writing in a journal or diary each day and keeping the thoughts positive and uplifting can be a good way to train the mind to think more optimistically. If you’re ever in doubt about the positives of the past, a quick flick back through the journal will reveal all of the good things that have happened.
Practicing the positives will help to filter out the negatives and create a lasting memory if your child ever needs an instant pick-me-up.
Being optimistic means seizing control of your destiny and believing that you have the power to succeed, even when the path appears a little bumpy. The above seven top tips will help your child to acquire these skills and ultimately become a leader in optimism.
About the Author
Matt Morrisey is a writer and a teacher. He enjoys writing about kids toys, outdoor children’s games at www.StarWalkKids.com where he contributes.