Today I want to put Learned Optimism in a form that you can teach to your kids. For more detail on this, I recommend The Optimistic Child, by Martin Seligman. The information in today’s column is drawn from that excellent book.
Before you do this, take some time to explore your own internal dialogue. You are modeling optimism or pessimism for your kids all the time, and the best way for you to teach them optimism is to embody it yourself a lot of the time (perfection is not necessary). See my past columns on learned optimism – ‘What You Say to Yourself Matters‘, and ‘Know Your ABCs‘ — and play with the suggestions here as well. Once you are comfortable with the principles, here’s what to do to begin teaching your kids: