Looking at the “sunny side of life” or having an optimistic outlook is one of the most important strengths for anyone to have. Why? Because it makes us feel better! It gives us hope and actually protects us from depression and poor health.
If we give ourselves negative messages ("Bad things always happen to me”) or think our problems are unsolvable ("I can’t do it"), then we are much more likely to give up trying.
The good news! Research shows that even the most negative thinkers can learn to think more positively. Young children copy the adults around them. So, if they see their parents showing a positive outlook, it is more likely that children will develop a positive outlook, too.
Becky offers wise counsel and inspiration to parents of children with special needs to help them maintain a positive outlook in their daily lives. (1 min. 39 sec.)
Here’s what you can do
Catch your negative thoughts! Try to replace them with more positive thoughts. Teach your child to be a ‘thought catcher’ as well.
Appreciate simple pleasures... a bright smile or time spent with loved ones. Help your child notice them, too. Share "simple pleasures" stories with each other at mealtime or bedtime.
Look for the beauty in nature with your child...an interesting flower, a clear blue sky. Watch video
A walk in nature is a great way for children to have positive family time and develop appreciation and respect for their natural world. (2 min. 3 sec.)
Have a little laugh. Humour helps brighten your outlook.
Express gratitude for what you have, big or small. Giving thanks can ward off depression.
Nurture your spirituality to find meaning, a sense of direction and hope during difficult times. Spending time in nature, making art, meditating, participating in faith groups or doing activities that feed the soul, like helping others, are a few of the ways that people develop their spirituality.
Role model a positive and realistic view about challenges. Teach children there are no magic solutions. It takes effort and planning to solve problems. Watch video
Daphne shares how both she and her son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, keep a positive and realistic outlook. (1 min. 49 sec)
Read or tell your child stories about others who look for the positives in everyday life. Click here for children’s storybooks related to appreciation and positive outlook.
I think it is very important to be positive with children. It does take an extreme amount of energy, but it is worth it because I can see the positive outcome for my 2-year-old son.
When it comes to nap time, I try to make sure that ... READ MORE
Take "The 3 Good Things Challenge" and use a simple research-tested way to increase your happiness within one week. Watch video
About Reaching IN...Reaching OUT
We help adults and young children develop resiliency skills. Children learn
resiliency skills by watching adults model them. This simple idea is
backed by 30 years of research and is the cornerstone of our approach.
We teach adults the skills they need to handle life's challenges with
resilience and show them how to pass those skills along to children.
Training fees and events offered directly by Reaching IN...Reaching OUT
are managed by Resiliency Directions Inc., a social entrepreneurship
dedicated to supporting resilience in people of all ages.