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Glass Half Empty or Half Full

by Lori Sciame | November 3rd, 2011 | Elementary

How do you present life to your child? Are you a glass half full or a glass half empty person? If you fall into the latter category, you may want to reconsider your thinking. In order for a young child to see his or her future as a positive one, we need to create a sense that the world is a wonderful place, one that’s waiting to be explored.

Think for a moment about Eeyore, the always sad donkey in the Winnie the Pooh book series. He had an empty glass stance. The following quote outlines his gloomy outlook exactly:

Eeyore, the old grey Donkey, stood by the side of the stream, and looked at himself in the water. “Pathetic,” he said. “That’s what it is. Pathetic.” He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again. “As I thought,” he said. “No better from this side. But nobody minds. Nobody cares. Pathetic, that’s what it is.”
— Winnie the Pooh

You could say that Eeyore is a pessimist. He views the world as a place where bad things occur regularly. My point? Strive to NOT be like Eeyore! As explained on the Kids Can Do Anything web site, “Optimistic people look at bad things that happen in a temporary way that this is something that doesn’t usually happen to them; it’s a fluke that this bad thing happened. They also look at it in a way that won’t affect any other aspect of their life that it’s specific to that situation…”

Here are a couple of concrete ways that you can begin presenting a more optimistic outlook to your child.

1. Celebrate the small stuff.
This past summer, while on vacation in Florida, I felt privileged to see two rainbows hovering above the ocean. I paused to drink in the rare sight, and I made sure my three children did the same. The last time our family had witnessed such a glorious sight was over seven years ago, but each child remembered those long ago rainbows – where we were, what was going on in our lives. What a special treat to see two rainbows again while we were all together! You, too, can create happy memories, ones full of wonder and delight, with your own children. Just make sure to celebrate even small gifts.

2. Roll with the punches.
It’s true; the more you are able to bend, but not break, over life’s trials, the better role model you will be for your child. For example, several years ago I lost a job I loved, but instead of focusing on the negative aspect of the change, I told my children that I had been blessed with a chance for new opportunity and for growth. Yes, I was sad, I said, but I was also excited. Teach your child that when one door closes, another one always opens!

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