The recent posting on Teaching Your Child Perseverance (thanks Doug) reminds me of the reading I am doing lately on Teaching Your Child Optimism.

Martin Seligman has a refreshing new focus on positive psychology as a counterbalance to the sometimes overemphasis on mental illness. He has studied happiness and come up with 6 virtues that are consistent over history and locations and then identified 24 character strengths within these virtues. I have read a couple of his books, including The Optimistic Child, which I highly recommend if you are looking for ways to help your child take a more positive attitude, and even avoid depression when they mature to adulthood. I must include this warning, however: helping our children to have a more positive perspective starts with modeling it ourselves ~ and that can be challenging!

I found a terrific summary of this book at
Additional material can be accessed at

The lessons on creating alternative thoughts line up perfectly with the words of scripture. “…Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think” (Rom. 12:2) and “take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.” (2 Cor. 10:5)