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Optimism: A Habit and a Choice

Optimism is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as  “the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation; or a belief that something good will happen.â€

We can foster and model how to be optimistic and view situations that have unexpected outcomes as opportunities to learn and think out of the box; it is all a matter of how we interpret events.

Modeling optimistic language and welcoming situations that might tilt the scale, e.g., sadness or frustration, turning them into opportunities of self-assessment and improvement, can teach resilience, confidence and start creating a mindset to face challenges.

So how can we help?

As caretakers and parents we can encourage our kids to make optimism a habit; the following are some strategies:

  1. Be a positive role model. Model being optimistic. Look for and point out the good side of events and experiences, instead of emphasizing what didn’t go as expected.

  2. Interpret unexpected outcomes as opportunities. Unexpected outcomes or “failure†are a natural part of learning that help us see and understand what we don’t know or what we are not able to do yet. Ask: What will you do differently next time?, and help kids self-evaluate: What went well?, What would you change if you could?

Challenge negative explanations. Encourage and propose different explanations for a situation, especially if the first one tends to be a pessimistic one; this will open the opportunity to explore change and improvement, and will allow the possibility to move forward.

Resumen: Podemos fomentar y modelar cómo ser optimistas y ver las situaciones que tienen resultados inesperados como oportunidades para aprender y pensar de manera creativa. Todo es cuestión de cómo interpretamos los eventos. 

Entonces, ¿cómo podemos ayudar?

Como cuidadores y padres podemos alentar a nuestros hijos a que conviertan el optimismo en un hábito, aquÃ

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