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Children and Optimism

Professor Lea Waters, Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne

“Optimism is the most important psychological ingredient we can cultivate in our children. It is the secret weapon of strength-based parenting.”

Optimism Can be Learned

Paul King, President and CEO of Stanford Children's Health

"Pediatric medicine at its core is about optimism -  it's about the future."

Lisa Barbarossa

"What makes me optimistic? Science and the eternal human search for knowledge, combined with the beauty and passion of children and young people and the chance to be a part of building an optimistic future with them."

Robin Cogan

"My optimism is informed by a relentless pursuit of caring for children and families with complex health and social needs. Investing in the healthsafety and well-being of community gives me hope that the seeds we plant today will bloom..."

Ashleigh Henrichs, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Racine and Kenosha Counties

"Children will surprise you with their energy, optimism and hope. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by hope these days?"

Jessica Purbrick, Director, Blue Tuna Consulting

“What am I optimistic about? A future for our children that values a kinder, more listening world. And my own role in preparing my teenagers for the opportunities of this future. Life is an impressive journey: it's an important life.”

Karen Stanford

"Being an optimist I am lucky enough to see hope everywhere. Inspiring people following their dreams, people being kind to each other & as a teacher, the children give me reason to be optimistic every day"

Catherine Misson, Principal

“If you look through the eyes of children you see limitless possibilities that tantalise the curious spirit with which they came into the world. How do we preserve that innate capacity? Optimism: enthusing our youth with an empowered view to the horizon no matter the challenges right in front of them. This is the source of our greatest potential as a society - optimistic citizens who believe they can and will craft a future worth inheriting.”

Lisa Rutigliano, Advanced Placement Psychology and Child Development at Valley Stream Central High School.

“Kids are willing to take more chances when they are optimistic.  It opens so many more doors because they see everything as an opportunity.”

Camilla Schippa, CEO at The Social Outfit


"When looking into a child’s eye, how could we not be optimistic? We owe it to them, and to ourselves. Optimism is the essence of life, with it we move forward, without it, we stay still.

Sandra Lewy, IACCM

"Seeing more children and teenagers caring about the environment makes me feel more optimistic about the future of our planet and the world that my son will grow up in."

IACCM's Voices of Optimism

Victor Perton

"When did you last ask your spouse, partner, parents or children, “What makes you optimistic?”

Ask Others “What makes you optimistic?”

Lori Moldovan IMH, Mental Health Counselor 

"success is correlated with psychological capacities including: optimism, curiosity, a sense of oneself as capable (different from self-esteem, which is about self-worth), and the ability to manage negative emotions and weather obstacles These capacities develop in the context of secure attachments with parents, which occurs when we give kids space by being present, responsive and interested – rather than reactive, controlling or preoccupied." 

In The failure in pressuring kids to succeed

Jennifer Vigne

"I do believe understanding levels of optimism, or lack thereof can be a solid indicator of how students can improve their academic performance, and how we as adults can optimize our own performance….Equipping our children with neurological lifelong tools like optimism, which can be practiced and improved over time, may not only make them happier, but studies show it will help them perform better in school. It will help them better overcome obstacles by viewing challenges as learning opportunities, and it will develop resilience when they’ve persevered through a difficult circumstance. To be clear, I’m not suggesting a Pollyanna view of the world but rather a healthy dose of balanced optimism that can help children and adults choose a more positive outlook.”


Julie Brinley, Burbank, California, USA - MBA Candidate at UCLA Anderson

"25 years ago, Dolly Parton created the Imagination Library in her hometown in Tennessee to help foster a love of reading in young children by increasing their access to books. "Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth until they begin school, no matter their family’s income." Since its inception, it has expanded across the US and internationally and gifted over 140 million books to young children around the world. I would not be who I am today without the love of reading I developed as a child, so I am inspired by Dolly's gift of books to so many children and optimistic about the positive impact she is having on so many young lives."

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