Olivia and I returned from going to the rodeo, and we’d been talking about going swimming. “That would be fun,” I said. “We’re hot and sticky. Let’s ask your Dad if you can.”

When we got to the house, Olivia ran ahead of me. While I was talking to her Dad, she came running out in her swimsuit. “We’re going swimming!” she said, bouncing up and down, “We’re going swimming!”

You can imagine what transpired. She’d been told she couldn’t go swimming, and had done an end-run around Nana. She had to go to her room and take off her swim suit, and she was inconsolable. I helped her get dressed, while she sobbed. I commiserated with her sadness and anger, supported her father’s decision, and agreed with her it was sad, sad. I’d been looking forward to it myself and it isn’t always easy for me to accept my son as a higher-authority than me! I didn’t like his reason why she couldn’t go, so was dealing with my own stuff, looking for a distraction.

Finally she quieted, brightened up, and said, “Let’s do what an optimist would do!” We’d been working on that – optimism is an emotional intelligence competency.

“What would an optimist do?” I asked.

“Think about something happy,” she replied. “Find something else to do.” She remembers things, that’s for sure.

“What else could we do that would be fun?” I asked her.

“I want to play with Donnie,” she said. He’s the little boy next door. And off she ran.

I decided to freshen up with the shower and then settle in with a good book.

Learning “optimism” can’t start too young! When we have a disappointment, we don’t dwell, we find something else to do that’s fun, and your child can learn this too.

Author's Bio: 

©Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach™, licensed Accountability Coach™. Emotional intelligence coaching, Internet courses, EQ assessments, business EQ culture programs, products available for licensing, training for EQ coaches. Improve every area of your life. Results-oriented coaching. www.susandunn.cc, mailto:sdunn@susandunn.cc for FREE ezine. Affiliates in UK, Australia, Malaysia. Ofrece coaching personal y cursos de Internet sobre inteligencia emotional (EQ). Se habla espanol.