“7 Secrets to Raising an Optimist”
John Hoffman wrote an article in Today’s Parent (the December 2005 issue) with this title. I loved his list of seven things, so here they are:
- Be a responsive, loving caregiver to your baby. Take care of her basic needs and comfort her when she cries.
- Build and maintain a strong, secure relationship with her as she grows.
- Help her develop life skills and give her age-appropriate control over some parts of her life.
- Help her to succeed, but don’t try to shield her from all disappointments and failures.
- When she’s frustrated or sad, be there for her and help her learn that it’s normal to feel bad sometimes, but that feeling bad doesn’t last forever.
- Teach her productive ways to think about the setbacks she will inevitably encounter during her lifetime.
- Model optimistic behaviour and thinking yourself, but make sure it is tempered with realism.
I think these seven secrets are the kind of thing we as parents should put on our fridge or read over to ourselves every once in a while. Some of them are easier said than done, but take heart knowing that you’re moving in the right direction!