Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Raising an optimistic child

Few week ago, i wrote about raising up a happy child, and today i want to share the review of the book that i had read recently called - The Optimistic Child by Martin E. P Seligman. This book reveal that the cause to the recent years spike in depression was pessimism. As such, the author shows parents as well as teachers and coaches how to teach children the skills of optimism that can help them combat depression, achieve more on the playing field and at school, and improve their physical health. The author create the model call ABCDE which stand for Adversity, Beliefs, Consequences, Disputation and Energization. The first ABC model explain why and how the depression came from and the last DE provide us an alternative and solution to become more optimistic. To let you have an idea what it means by ABCDE model, let see the example below :

Your child came back home angry and throwing his basketball to the living room and sit angrily at the caoch. The converstaion between you and your kid :
You :        Hi honey, are you ok?
your kid : John and other don't want to play with me, they say i am a lousy teamate.(Adversity)
You :       Oh, that's not true, i saw you playing before and you are great!

your kid : No, i am not, i am suck! I have never be good in any sports! (his Belief)
               I will never play basketball again and i hate myself for being such a lousy player! (Consequences)
You :       Well, maybe you are not so good in basketball but you play tennis well, aren't you?
your kid : (think for a while)..Yeah, maybe you are right, mom. I beat John a few times playing tennis, i guess there are other games that I can master, just that i may need time to learn up basketball. (Disputation -the argument make to counter your belief)
Thanks mom, i feel better now and i shall take a bath before doing my homework!
 (Energization - the emotional and behavioral consequences of the disputation)

As you can see from the example above, ABC is normal to happen everyday in our kids'life. However the D and E part maynot be as easy as mentioned in the example above and this is where our role as parent come in. We need to provide guidance and coaches to our kids so that they can always think of the disputation which can then change their mindset and behavioral. In this book, the author teaches us how to provide these guidance to our kids as well as the 5 steps problem solving method.
Although i don't like the part where there is many lenghty explaination on the result of the research data, overall it is still a good book to read through that provide me many useful tips and guidance in raising an optimistci child.

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