Why Should We Teach Kids About Optimism?

Optimists see the glass as half-full. But what does this really mean? And why should we care? Read on.

By Momentous Institute | Apr 13, 2015
Why Teach Kids Optimism

We all know the age-old question: is the glass half-empty, or half-full? A pessimist sees the former, and an optimist sees the latter. But when we’re talking about real life, not just a glass of water, what exactly is an optimist? What does it mean to live life with a glass-half-full perspective?
If you look closely at an optimist, you’ll see that she’s willing to try new things, even if she might fail. She is excited to explore and learn. She plans for the best possible outcome and knows that success is achievable. She picks herself up when things don’t go her way, and she tries again.
But here’s the thing about optimism: while we all have a natural set point, that set point can be changed. Sure, some people are naturally more optimistic than others, but most of our attitude comes from what we see and experience. Have you ever spent time with a group of negative thinkers? Did you notice that you started to feel more negative as a result? The same is true for optimism. The more it is built into our day, the more we begin to feel optimistic on our own.
Like most things, childhood is the prime time for learning about optimism. What they see informs their mindset. We have to be overt about teaching kids to be optimistic. We’ll be sharing several strategies that can help you do just that. Start by thinking about yourself: do you see the glass half-empty, or half-full?