Raising Optimistic Children: 10 Effective Techniques

By adopting some simple daily practices, you'll find raising optimistic children as fun as it is rewarding.
Raising Optimistic Children: 10 Effective Techniques
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

With modern life being as demanding and accelerated as it is, raising optimistic children can seem like a real challenge. However, this challenge can produce wonderful results when you start at an early age.

The idea is to raise strong, brave children determined to be the best versions of themselves. Achieving it doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does require consistent practice.

“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

–Winston S. Churchill

Let’s begin by defining optimism as the ability to enjoy challenges, see possibilities, and believe in one’s own talents. These are essentially the traits that set an optimist apart from everyone else.

Raising optimistic children requires teaching them to see the “glass as half-full” by using the following strategies.

Raising optimistic children: motivational techniques

1. Practice meditation and mindfulness.

Teach your children simple meditation practices, even if you don’t have much experience yourself. For example, you can show them proper breathing techniques and introduce a five-minute daily routine. This will help diminish stress and anxiety, while reinforcing their sense of self-control.

2. Encourage physical activity.

Motivate your children to get regular exercise and develop an interest in sports. Movement is the easiest way to release endorphins and to keep kids’ energy levels up. Other benefits of sports include teamwork, discipline, and the ability to set and achieve goals.

3. Instill the value of gratitude.

Teach your children to be thankful for the things they receive from others. Dedicate five minutes of family time to naming two or three positive things that happened during the day. This way, your children will learn to appreciate the reasons for being happy in their daily lives, making them more optimistic in the process.

4. Show them your love.

The best way to let someone know you love them is to spend time with them and to express your feelings. Make sure you share quality time with your children on a daily basis. Take an interest in their problems and concerns, and help them find solutions.

Raising Optimistic Children: 10 Effective Techniques

5. Let them experience success.

When someone experiences the joy of achievement, they’re motivated to do it all over again. This is why it’s important to assign your kids age-appropriate tasks and that you recognize their efforts.

Other daily habits

6. Be a positive role model.

Children imitate the behaviors of people they admire. If you want your children to face life with optimism, show them that you handle conflicts in a constructive way. Teach them to find the life lessons that emerge from each difficult situation.

7. Protect them from inappropriate concerns.

Young children shouldn’t carry the concerns of the adult world. Be sure to wait until your children are old enough and mature enough to talk about grown-up issues.

8. Allow space for fun.

Too often, we limit adult routines to work and household chores. So remember that happy family moments should occupy an equally important space. Families that share fun experiences stay closer together.

9. Teach them to use positive language.

Human beings have a tendency to use negative expressions when it comes to ourselves. Replace phrases like, “math is really hard” with “math requires a lot of practice.”

Raising Optimistic Children: 10 Effective Techniques

10. Show them how to keep things in perspective.

Obviously, difficulties are a fact of life and that won’t change. What can change is the way they’re dealt with.

Above all, raising optimistic children means teaching them to look at things from different perspectives, avoid being victims, and become winners.


Optimism is a life skill that will make your children happier and help them grow into better people. Moreover, feeling happy and self-confident will allow them to make positive changes around them.

For these reasons, put these strategies into practice. You might even become an optimist yourself along the way.

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.

  • Conversano, C., Rotondo, A., Lensi, E., Della Vista, O., Arpone, F., & Reda, M. A. (2010). Optimism and Its Impact on Mental and Physical Well-Being. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health : CP & EMH, 6, 25–29. http://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901006010025
  • González Arratia López Fuentes, N. I. (2011). Resiliencia y personalidad en niños y adolescentes. Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México.
  • Sánchez Hernández, Ó., & Méndez Carrillo, F. X. (2009). El optimismo como factor protector de la depresión infantil y adolescente. Clinica y salud, 20(3), 273-280. http://scielo.isciii.es/scielo.php?pid=S1130-52742009000300008&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en
  • Seligman, M. E. (2014). Niños optimistas. DEBOLS! LLO.

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