It seems that I cannot go to a dinner party without someone bringing up ‘The Secret’ or the Law of Attraction, or as I see it, the simple power of positive thinking and optimism. This got me thinking about how important it is to teach optimism and positive thinking to kids.

In my opinion, the earlier we begin to understand the benefits of being hopeful, optimistic and staying positive, or as the cliché says, finding the silver lining in everything, the better off we will be. So how do you explain this idea to kids and teens.

Step 1: Appropriate Timing Everyone learns best when there is a concrete example in front of them. So, next time something good happens to you or your family member, grasp the opportunity. Lets say you win free tickets to a ballgame on the radio or get a discount on your plane tickets for the next family vacation. While sharing the excitement with your child, turn to them and say, ‘I know why this happened to us!” Of course, your child will wonder why and then you can let them in on the secret…

Step 2: Make it a Secret Ok so they might have heard about ‘The Secret’, but one of the reasons why The Secret was so popular is because it is called ‘The Secret’. Everyone wants to feel like they are doing something no one else knows about. This works especially well with kids. Explain to them that you have a secret ritual you do when you want your wishes to come through and it makes you very lucky.

Step 3: Use Simple and Enticing Words Using words like wishes, dreams, luck and magic, work well with kids and tend to stick. If you explain that whenever you are wanting something, you always wish for it out loud and only use ‘yes’ words because your secret listener only hears positive words.

Then explain that you think about it before you go to bed and imagine yourself doing it, just like it is real and believing it is going to happen. Make it appeal to your kids like it is a mini-game where dreams can actually come true.

Step 4: Show Them More Examples Over the next few weeks and days, tell your kids when you are thinking positively. When you are looking for a parking space at the mall, say “I am doing my secret now to find us the best parking spot there is, I can see our spot now, imagine it with me!” My dad actually used to (and still does) do this with us by saying ‘ok, where is our Van Petten family parking space?’ And I swear, whenever I drive with my dad we are sure to find the ‘Van Petten Family Parking Space’ in record time.

Step 5: Proceed with Caution Now, it is important for your kids to realize that this does not work with everything, or immediately. So explain this aspect of the concept and that being positive is half of the battle. Tell them it is also important to work at your wishes. You cannot visualize your perfect parking place, but stop looking around, you have to keep searching for it until you find it. The best lesson is to teach your kids that with hard work and positive thinking, their dreams will come true.

Author's Bio: 

Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!” She writes a parenting blog from a teen’s perspective to help parents understand what is actually going on in the mind of kid’s today to make life a little bit easier.