So, Let’s consider: Raising optimistic children
So, today we start what will be the first of hopefully many of the “kids don’t come with manuals” series.
One of my favorite skits from Monty Python includes their song “Always look on the bright side of life.” Now, if you’ve not heard or seen it – or perhaps just haven’t had a recent fix, go out to youtube.com and take a look. If you don’t laugh it’s because you’re already dead.
Looking at the bright side of life can be a major challenge. Further teaching kids to look on the bright side and to be optimistic can be sometimes formidable, especially if the family falls on hard times…which frankly happens more times than we’d like it to or admit that it actually does.
So, let’s look at a few things that maybe we can incorporate in our lives, lives of our families and perhaps pass along to our kids and just maybe help their paths have a few less stones on it.
Be careful what, when, how and where you say when you’re pissed off. It’s really easy to vent our frustrations at life and anything else when enough gets to be enough, but constant bitching and moaning isn’t the best thing for kids to be exposed to. OK, it’s fine to express your feelings and opinions, that’s normal, but move on after you’ve had your piece and get on with your life and into the next chapter. It’s really hard to raise an optimistic kid when you’re a pessimistic parent all the time.
Say thanks and be grateful. Give your kids an appreciation for what they have versus constant complaining about what they don’t. Remember, your kids will imitate you.
Keep life and everything in its proper perspective. To have expectations that are too high on a regular basis tends to make kids give up in despair. The other side of setting expectations too low all the time isn’t good either. Manage their expectations to be a real and reasonable level of what they should expect from life. When things don’t go the way they expected, don’t spend a lot of time pouting and whining, get over it and move on to the next challenge in life.
Kids look to you to learn how to establish reasonable expectations and how to manage those expectations, regardless of if they go your way or against you. None of us is perfect, but try to be a good role model on how to control and manage life and circumstances when they go the wrong way.
I’m Don Rima and that’s the view From Where I Stand.