see the glass HALF FULL…

…then fill it the rest of the way

Positivity for kids - 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 learn 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! Be Positive!: A Book about optimism (Being the Best Me Series) by Cheri J. Meiners M.Ed. perfectly illustrates the importance and benefits that teaching children to be positive can have on their lives and for themselves, The Energy Bus for Kids: A Story about Staying Positive and Overcoming Challenges by Jon Gordon really brings home the idea that positivity is a choice and the mindset we choose to have not only impacts ourselves, but our day and others, and Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein is a perfect example of filling others glasses by teaching little ones that we are all connected in this world and the smallest positive act (even a smile) can create ripples of goodwill that become large and far-reaching.

Be Positive! A Book About Optimism Children's BookThe Energy Bus for Kids Children's Book Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein Children's Book

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.

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