Dr Bruce Robinson looks into optimism and how it builds resilience

Optimism and resilience

This month on the Fathering Channel we are exploring the importance of resilience in our lives, how we can help our children build resilience through their different ups and downs, and why resilience is so important in difficult times – and we all have our fair share of these!

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Optimism is about thinking positively and being able to look on the bright side. Children who use optimistic thinking are more resilient, less likely to give up in the face of challenges and tend to approach situations with a sense of control and confidence.

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” – Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter series by JK Rowling).

Some tips for encouraging optimism

  1. Model optimistic thinking and talking. Be aware of the messages you project. Instead of saying “we’ll never find a parking space” replace it with “we will find a parking space soon”.
  2. Identify negative self-talk. Teach your child to recognise when they are talking negatively. Change “I will never” to “I will try”.
  3. Teach gratitude and encourage your kids to be grateful for what they have every day. Regularly ask your children “what was the best part of your day today?”
  4. Look on the bright side and help your child to look for the positives in challenging situations; “It is sad that you couldn’t go on the excursion today, but the weather will be much better to go next week”.
  5. Tell your children about times you may have had difficulties or challenges and had to persevere and overcome them. Let them know the positives that have come from these times.


Mondays with Fathering Project founder Dr Bruce Robinson
We want to foster connection, sharing and collaborating in this time of isolation and need. The Fathering Channel is an online community hub and a source of research-based advice, support and information. Tune in every Monday for Bruce’s weekly video – packed with fathering advice and tips.
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