Positive Parenting - How To Raise Optimistic and Resilient Children

Posted on December 22nd, 2012

Book: Authentic happiness: using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting by Martin Seligman.

Sleeping with babies

Synchrony (mimicking) games - eating or reading together and spending time together.

Toys that promote flow (interactive at wide range of levels)

“No” - reserved strictly for dangers and limit setting, not inconveniences

Provide unconditional love, affection, ebullience and warmth

Save PRAISE for real success, and calibrate it to the scale of the success

Chores - match to strengths; good predictor of future positive mental health

Best Moments - recalling good and bad things from the day.  Non-depressed adults average 2 positive to 1 negative thought.  Children should be higher. What did you like today?  Preview of tomorrow - what do you want to do tomorrow ? Works well at the age of five.

Dreamland - focus on happy picture, say it repeatedly while falling asleep, intend to dream about it. Call up a happy picture in your mind and make it into a movie.

In rare circumstances, make a deal:  immediate and significant positive (highly desired toy) for promise to change unwanted behavior, with clear, meaningful, and significant consequences for that positive on first and second breach of promise (temporary, then permanent loss of toy).  No more than twice per childhood, and only as a last resort.

Build a cardboard house together.

A children’s strengths survey is available at www.authentichappiness.org

Questions or comments? Send me an email