6 Tips to Raise an Optimist

Tallahassee Families,

Wondering how to raise an optimistic child? After all, kids who are more confident and optimistic are better at dealing with life’s challenges—and happier too.

Here’s six tips to help your child.

QUIT COMPLAINING

Don’t complain or be negative around your children. If you are complaining about money or making negative comments about life in front of your children, most likely they will pick-up the same habits. Be positive and bring good things in front of your children on a regular basis.

HAVE HIGH EXPECTATIONS

The benefit of having your kids complete chores has a bigger benefit than most think. Kids like approval and want to feel a sense of pride. Expect them to take care of things like making their bed, picking up their clothes or taking out the trash. Make sure to compliment them when they do it. Don’t critique their work, but if you see a way it could be done better, ask them if you could give them some tips to make their job better or faster.

ENCOURAGE REASONABLE RISK TAKING

We all struggle with how much to try to protect our kids from getting (or feeling) hurt. You don’t want them to be embarrassed due to lack of skill, however skills are learned over time. Letting kids explore their interests and encouraging them keeps them going even when times get tough.

WAIT BEFORE REACTING

Wait, before you let your parent claws come out. Be your child’s advocate, but don’t be so quick to fight their battles for them. If they are being verbally bullied at school, teach them what to say and how to handle it. You will build a confident child that can stick up for themselves and fight their own battles.

EMBRACE THE STRUGGLE

Teach your kids to look at things differently, not how society expects them to perceive things. If they are working on something new in math and struggling, don’t be surprised you hear, ” I am not good at math!” Change their way of thinking. You are good at math, you are just learning something new and new things take time to learn. The same philosophy goes for learning a new skill or sport. It takes time. Some of the best athletes and/or sports competitors practiced more than the lower level players. That is why they are the best, not because they are gifted.

KEEP IT REAL

Be honest with your kids and don’t sugar coat things. They will read right through you. If you move to a new area and your child is having trouble making friends. Be direct, let them know it takes time. Look to meet one new person each day at school and before you know it you will start to make new friends.

As parents, we often protect our kids too much which can make life development much more difficult. Being upfront and direct helps with kids. They are smarter than most adults give them credit for.

If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at bradfantle@gmail.com. He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an ADHD Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama

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