As I look at my now-grown children and my beautiful granddaughter, I feel incredibly blessed for many reasons. The fact that I have such a positive and happy group around me is one of the biggest of those reasons! When I was raising my family — my daughter Mollie, now 30, and my son Cory, now 25 — I alwaysstrived to give them happy childhood experiences that allowed them to feel good about themselves.

One of the big mistakes that some parents might make is using reinforcement the wrong way. For example, when a child wins their tennis match, the parents might be full of “Way to go” and “That’s my boy!” kind of comments. But when the same child loses a match, the parent might tend to go quiet, simply ignoring the situation because the child lost and they think it’s best not to say anything. This is actually a great opportunity to teach positive thinking: For example, the child might have lost the game but there were surely some parts that they did well. Maybe they made an especially great serve or they showed great sportsmanship. Pick out the positive parts and talk about them, let the child know that their effort has been noticed! This is a good way to train kids to look for positive aspects even in seemingly negative situations.

Another way to raise positive thinkers is to emphasize one of the greatest natural strengths a child has. Kids have a natural instinct to be positive thinkers when they are young and you can use that effectively: If a child has a lofty goal say: “I know you can do it if you work hard” or “You can do it, once you have your mind made up.” Showing absolute confidence in your child’s abilities will help them to not just think — but to KNOW — that the sky is the limit!

I am so proud to live in a family of positive thinkers! My kids tell me that this early “positivity” training had a lot to do with their happiness and success today: Mollie is the mother to my baby granddaughter Caroline, a director of Marketing at Anderson Hardwood floors (div. of Shaw) and PR Manager at Shaw Floors. Cory is a recent Auburn grad and a business analysis at STIBO software. It brings me indescribable joy to watch my kids making their way in the world, with an attitude that nothing can hold them back!

I love hearing from my readers, so if you have “positivity” tips to share, please tell me about them!

Until next time,