Are Optimistic Children Born or Made?

Optimistic children are both born and made. Learning plays a very important role so that kids can see the positive side of things.
Are Optimistic Children Born or Made?
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 09 March, 2023

Seeing things with optimism allows us to always see the good side of things around us. Many times, the way different situations develop will depend on our attitude. But are optimistic children the way they are by nature or do they need to learn to be that way? That’s what we’re going to talk about in the following article.

Children are constantly growing and learning. Although there are children whose tendency is to see things in a positive way, the attitude of parents is important, as it will help children follow that path or, on the contrary, it will cause them to end up becoming more pessimistic.

Can children learn to be optimistic or is it something innate?

There are people who have a positive attitude and always see the good side of the problems that arise. This doesn’t mean that only nature plays a preponderant role, but that learning’s also very important.

It’s true that there are optimistic children who have a predisposition to always smile and see the positive side of everything and, in addition to that, their parents reinforce that attitude. Nor can we forget that there are children who manage to be optimistic with a lot of effort and who’ve tried over and over again to look at the bright side until they’ve succeeded.

Guidelines to encourage an optimistic attitude in children

Optimism is one of the qualities of emotional intelligence and it’s a habit. It can be learned if the environment favors it. Let’s look at some guidelines that can help us foster this quality in children:

Realize what our thinking tendency is and practice the positive

We all know that we’re our children’s role models. In this regard, they tend to face problems the same way that they see us adults deal with our own problems. In this regard, if we act positively and see the bright side of things, they will too.

A girl running in the park with a superhero costume on, smiling.
Not all optimistic children were born with this attitude toward life. On the contrary, in many cases, it was through practice and failures that they realized that everything has a good side and that we must learn to identify it.

Be careful with how we correct our little ones

If we’re optimistic parents, we’ll have the ability to see in our children’s problems the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with them.

Help our children to change their pessimistic tendency

If we observe that our children refer to the things that happen to them as something negative and have a pessimistic attitude , we have to help them. We must show them that it’s possible to see problems from a learning perspective. From it, they can draw enriching experiences.

What can parents do to transmit optimism to their children?

If we take into account all of the above, we’ll realize that, in some way, we all have the ability to learn to be positive. It’s important to be able to face problems with optimism and to persevere. For this, practice is essential. Therefore, below, we’re going to give you some ideas so that you can practice positive thinking:

When faced with a difficulty or problem, try to look for the positive side

Problems can always leave us with some sort of lesson. To see the positive side, you can use thoughts or phrases such as the following: “The good thing about this was that…”, “this has taught me to…”, “I’ve learned what does and doesn’t work”…

To communicate something unpleasant, try to focus on the solution

If there’s a problem that worries us and also affects third parties, one way to communicate it is to reflect the interest we have in finding a solution to the issue. For example, “this is going on, but I think it can be solved in this way”.

Parents playing with their daughter on the beach?
The attitude of the parents to face life will be extremely influential for children, as they’re their example to follow. It’s key to be able to see problems as learning opportunities.

If an unforeseen event arises, we must see the advantages of that change

Maybe we planned something but we had to change our plans because of an unforeseen event. In this case, we must remember that life isn’t a straight path and that every situation can be an opportunity to learn and discover new things. From everything that happens to us, we can always learn something.

Think about the people or activities that have given us positive things

This is a good exercise to do in the evening when the day is over. This way, we’ll be filled with illusion, joy, satisfaction, energy, and positivity before going to sleep.

Before an important project or task, focus on the resources we have

Instead of focusing on what we lack, we should think about our virtues and resources to face the situation. We must be able to see the good in everything we have and tell ourselves encouraging phrases such as the following: “I can do this”, “I’m doing great”, and “I’m doing a great job” , among others.

Regarding optimistic children

With everything said throughout this article, we can say that optimistic children may have an innate tendency toward positivity. However, this won’t be fostered if they don’t have parents who have a positive attitude toward the difficulties that life presents us with. Therefore, learning plays an important role, as it will reinforce those children who always have a smile and are positive. At the same time, it’ll help mold those who aren’t born with that tendency.

In the end, in both cases, children will be able to enhance optimism. That way, they’ll be convinced that any problem they face will be an opportunity to grow, learn, and improve.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Seligman, M. E. (2014). Aprenda optimismo: Haga de la vida una experiencia maravillosa. DEBOLS! LLO.
  • Seligman, M. E. (2014). Niños optimistas. DEBOLS! LLO.
  • Seligman, M. E. (2017). La auténtica felicidad. B DE BOOKS.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.