How to Raise an Optimistic Child

Why is optimism important? Is it something that can be learned? These questions are often asked when parents begin to consider what character traits their child might have as they grow up. Are you an optimist or not? You might be considering how your own outlook affects that of your child and at the core of this is a very natural desire for your child to be happy. One of the best ways to stay happy and balanced in life is to be optimistic, to have a cheerful disposition and the ability to remain positive in the face of life’s challenges. People who struggle to stay upbeat and hopeful are often the people who also struggle to feel happy and satisfied in their lives.

But are we born with these tendencies? Or are they learned? A child who is taught that only monetary wealth and power bring happiness may often feel unfulfilled and pessimistic. We all experience failure at various points in our lives so it is important to let your child know that while success and power are great things, true happiness can be found in varying amounts everywhere. Another important point is to make sure to listen to your child’s opinions and thoughts. This prep school in Hertfordshire shares its thoughts on that matter and their ethos is underpinned by the belief that even the smallest child should be respected in terms of opinions and thoughts.

Helping your child find joy in the mundane
A child learns how to react from their parent. Your baby or toddler has a very small social circle and at the centre of it is you. Your reactions to everyday things or occurrences teach your child how they should react. Do you point out the beauty in the natural world to your child? Share simple activities with them? Enjoy the natural environment with them and speak about what makes these things wonderful? Not everyone has this ability instinctively, but if you dedicate yourself to trying to share positivity, then your child will naturally follow in your wake. From positivity comes optimism.

Teaching your child to appreciate the world around us
The simple pleasures of a walk in the rain, delighting in a flower or a puddle are not to be underestimated. Children who are exposed to these things and to nature in general will continue to enjoy them well into adulthood – and these things are completely free. 

Help your child to learn to make their own fun and entertainment too. A child who depends on his or herself to find happiness will carry that strength with them and as a result, their outlook will be more positive because they don’t need to rely on anyone else for happiness.

Why is optimism important?
Life presents a series of challenges to everyone. These challenges come in many different forms but a lot of them come from outside of ourselves. This means that we can’t affect them – can’t stop them happening. But what we can do is choose how we react to setbacks and unfortunate incidents. Start young. Let your small child know that nothing is insurmountable, nothing is so bad that the next ‘nice thing’ around the corner won’t make them forget all about it. Keep them positive and optimism will follow – and they’ll be happier as a result.


  1. An informative post thanks!

  2. Don't know whether my parents could have changed my character. I am a bit of an Eyore

  3. What a very good post! I've never thought about anything like this before. You've got me thinking back to how I was raised....

  4. My ex was very negative and I sometimes see that in my son - luckily my partner and I are very positive people so we try to encourage the same in the kids!