Courtesy: Elizabeth Wickham
As swim parents we want to see our kids happy and successful—in and out of the pool. In a recent webinar by David Benzel, from Growing Champions for Life, he shared life changing strategies we can use to help our children succeed. Some we may be doing already, others we can work to improve and model in our families.
Did you know that happy people are more likely to experience success than negative ones? I’m not talking about giddy, laughing happy, but more like having a sense of well-being and satisfaction. You may know people who are negative much of the time who no one likes being around. We’re more likely to gravitate to people who are smiling, upbeat and positive. It’s glass half full versus half empty outlooks and people seem to have one or the other. The good news is that we are able to stop ourselves from negative self-talk and pessimism, and we can help our children develop positive attitudes, too.
You may notice swimmers and coaches around the pool who people are drawn to. What do they have in common? They are successful, happy and outgoing. They are hard working and focused, but compassionate and caring, too.
Benzel mentioned a book, Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E. P. Seligman. He shared five strategies from the book to create well-being. These are five common traits found in happy, successful people that we can work on ourselves and introduce to our kids.
FIVE STRATEGIES TO CREATE WELL-BEING:
Keep a daily record of three “Golden Moments” from your day. Before you go to sleep, jot down three things that were positive.
Keep a gratitude journal and make three entries a day of what you’re thankful for. This has been a proven strategy to change people’s outlooks for the better.
Practice a positive explanatory style when misfortune strikes. This refers to our self-talk, also known as that little voice inside our head. Don’t go super negative and beat yourself up when things don’t go as planned, but put things into perspective instead.
Create a 5:1 environment with five positive emotional moments to every negative moment. This is the ideal ratio for success, although 3:1 is good. Less than that, it’s difficult to keep happy and positive, which means we have to think about our negative comments or actions and keep them in check.
Set aside a specific time for prayer or mediation daily. This has been found to be a common trait among successful people in sports, business, school and relationships.
What strategies for success and happiness have you tried yourselves and shared with your children?
Elizabeth Wickham volunteered for 14 years on her kids’ club team as board member, fundraiser, newsletter editor and “Mrs. meet manager.” She’s a writer with a bachelor of arts degree in editorial journalism from the University of Washington with a long career in public relations, marketing and advertising. Her stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Parenting and Ladybug. You can read more parenting tips on her blog.