Let’s consider three Star Qualities that can help us develop our potential and make amazing things happen in our experiences and relationships. As educators, parents/family members, coaches, etc. we also have the potential to help children develop star qualities as well.

Emotional Awareness: recognizing and dealing with our emotions and the emotions of others; being in touch with feelings and thoughts.

  • Think back to how emotions were handled in your family of origin. How does that affect how you are dealing with emotions now?
  • Talk to children about your emotions. Openly express how events and behaviors affect you.
  • Label and discuss feelings as they occur in books and movies. Promote empathy by asking children what they would feel in similar situations.
  • Realize and help children see that all emotions are connected to something that we value. For example: we are grateful when we have something that we value; we are sad when we lose something that we value; we are jealous when someone else has something that we value; we are happy when we are experiencing something that we value.

Focused: staying fixed on a goal or task; filtering our constant stimuli and paying attention to what’s important.

  • How hard is it for you to focus? What distracts you?
  • Notice how long children can focus on an activity. Keeping development in mind, encourage children to extend an experience for a few minutes more.
  • Give children something to look for in a book, movie, or place before the activity begins. For example, “When we get to the museum, look for the statue of the monkey and tell me when you see it.”

Optimistic: being hopeful; seeing the positive in people, situations, and events; belief in the capacity to bring about positive outcomes.

  • The opposite of optimism is negativity, highlighted by blame, a lack of responsibility, and victimization.
  • How optimistic are you in daily life? What negative habits keep you from being optimistic?
  • Share with children how negative situations or failure have turned out to be positive in the long run.
  • Share a hopeful vision of a child’s future. Plan a way to look forward to the future by marking an enjoyable event on the calendar. Optimism grows when one can look forward to or hope for something.
  • Three Questions for maintaining optimism:
  1. Is it Permanent?  Will things always be this way, or was this just a temporary condition? Those who are able to stay optimistic view conditions as short-lived and temporary. If you can honestly see a problem as a short-lived condition, you open yourself up to the possibility that if you stick with it, you will be rewarded down the line.

Seeing the problem as Temporary will help you stay optimistic.

  1. Is it Pervasive? Is it like this everywhere, or just here? Are all people like that, or just this one? If you can determine that the conditions you are facing are not the same everywhere, it leaves open the possibility that conditions will improve if you keep at it.

Understanding that a problem is specific to certain conditions helps you see past the one you are in, and look for something better.

  • Is it Personal?  Are you the problem, or is it something outside of you? Sure, we can always improve our skills, approaches, and techniques, and it’s important to do so. But focusing on the external causes can help us stay optimistic. Viewing the problem as external means it might be different with somebody else, and you have reason to keep trying.

Identify one thing you can do to develop one of these Star Qualities this week.

From our Top 20 team, Willow, Tom, and Kevin, who focus on healthy emotions and hope for the future.

Paul Bernabei
Top 20 Training