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The Centre for Optimism

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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

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?"

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

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

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.

Victor Perton

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

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.”

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.”

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