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Attitude is Everything! Teaching Kids to be Positive

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Is the glass half empty or half full? We use this simple question to explain being optimistic. Optimism means looking on the bright side of things and always finding ways to appreciate what’d going on around you. Having a positive outlook on the world makes overcoming obstacles easier and can increase confidence and self-esteem.

The benefit of a positive outlook is the message in Cheri Meiners’ book Be Positive. This beautifully-illustrated book shows the many ways children can be optimistic in their day to day lives, such as:

  • Being grateful for what they have
  • Finding things they like and are good at
  • Making time to play each day
  • Spending time outside
  • Being patient with things they can’t change
  • Or talking to family and friends

Here are a few activities to encourage optimism in your children:

Positive Posting


  • Computer blog site or a large piece of paper drawn on to look like a blog site


  1. Have the children practice cultivating positive thoughts by taking time to think about their day : what they liked, what went well, and why
  2. Create a family or class blog online or on the piece of paper
  3. Help each child write daily entries of things they felt good about or saw as positive


Positive Self-Talk



  1. Talk about negative self-talk and how people sometimes think negatively about themselves when they are sad or upset. Then explain that positive self-talk can take away those bad feelings and make people feel happier
  2. Draw and cut out a simple figure of a person from cardstock and decorate it together
  3. Using the white paper, cut out several thought bubbles and write a negative self-talk on each one with one of the markers
  4. Put the cut out person on the board with magnets and put a negative self-talk message beside it
  5. Have one of the children read the negative self-talk message. Ask the class “What is a positive way to see this?”
  6. Brainstorm positive self-talk thoughts to counteract the negative ones. As ideas are mentioned, write each one on a thought bubble with the other marker. Have two or three positive thoughts for each negative thought
  7. Let a child remove the negative thought that has been “pushed away” by the positive ones

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