Raising an Optimistic Child
The definition of an optimistic child
There is a meme circulating on the Internet about optimistic children and pessimistic children. It's about a room full of poop versus a room full of every toy imaginable.
The optimistic child spends a couple of hours in the poop room and comes out happy, covered in poop. The pessimistic child enters the toy room which has every toy imaginable and has a terrible time. The pessimistic child leaves the room negative and unimpressed.
This is a very extreme example and not even a true story, but it clearly shows the differences in how most people view optimism versus pessimism. The optimistic child can see the good side of even a room full of poop, while a pessimist can't even see the value of a room full of fun toys.
This is a problem in the way we teach children the value of optimism over pessimism. In reality, it is not necessary to teach children unrealistic ideals to help them become more optimistic and therefore happier.
The truth is that the definition of optimism is basically "the feeling or belief that good things will happen even though it is unlikely." (Dictonary.com) So, in a way, the ability to be optimistic seems almost unrealistic. However, studies show that the ability to see the bright side of things serves people well because they tend to be happier even when things don't turn out the way they expected. Thus, there is great value in intentionally raising optimistic children.