Subject: Kids Games
Children who are hopeful and optimistic believe that good things, rather than bad things, will generally be the outcome when confronted with a problem or setback. Having optimism and hope doesn't mean denying problems. But, people who are optimistic tend to focus on the positive and to focus their efforts on the aspects of a situation that they can control. Hope and optimism are important skills that will benefit children across their lives and as parents we can help instill these thinking styles in our children. The goal is NOT to deny that bad things happen, NOR is it to teach our children that they have complete control over what happens in their lives. Rather, the goal is to help our children see situations fully and accurately — which includes seeing the positive elements of a situation — and to focus their energy on helping to bring about positive outcomes.
A fun way to cultivate optimism and hope AND to have fun is to form a We-Can Club. Invite a few of your children's friends to join the club and recruit their moms to help. Together, identify three to five neighborhood projects that the kids would like to work on together to bring about a positive change. For example, if your local parks are dirty, they can set the goal of picking up trash for one hour on weekends. Or, if there are elderly people that live in your neighborhood, you can bake cookies with your kids and deliver them as a surprise to brighten a neighbor's day. It's important that you help the club members set achievable goals so they can see first hand the positive influence they have.
Below are a few other ideas to get your We Can Club started:
- Volunteer for an afternoon at a local animal shelter
- Organize their school class to write letters to our troops overseas
- Collect "gently worn" clothes to donate to a shelter
- Create a vegetable garden at school or in the neighborhood
- Start a book buddy program with younger students
- Find and clip food coupons and drop them off at a shelter