Optimism is often a hard one to teach. Young children like to generalize optimism to mean, “I will be happy all the time otherwise it’s bad.” Well . . . that thought process is only erasing every single emotional awareness lesson I ever taught.
This year I was trying to think of a way to make optimism an internal feeling and not an outward display of happiness. How do we feel hopeful about things even in our darkest days? Positive self-talk! And then the Shield of Optimism was born . . .
Positive self-talk is the amazing ability to tell ourselves just how special and important and good and wonderful we are so that we have the resilience to approach difficult situations with confidence. I took this approach when teaching my K-4 students about optimism. We should talk to ourselves like we would a great friend . . . and if that’s not happening, then let’s look at how we fix it.