Nurturing a Bright Future: Raising Confident and Joyful Children

Three children sitting together
Invite the children to change

Nurturing a bright future for raising confident and joyful children.


I grew up in a dysfunctional family, and positivity was not high on our radar screen. Throughout my life, I have had to work hard to obtain a positive place in life and maintain it. When I began Positive News For You, one of my dreams was to develop a way to help young people get connected to positivity and to learn how to overcome it. 


Much of this begins with teachers and family members. 


Coming into 2023, I renewed my pledge to do more with this thinking. (I have been reaching out to teachers and folks that may be able to help with this.) 


This past week confirmed this fact. I read the news of a fight in a Vermont school that has caused the school district to ban fans from further games. A friend of mine who referees told me he had to end a game because of the player’s harmful behavior. And many across the nation watched the terrible video of the 3rd-grade girl on the bus in Homestead, Florida. 


Parents and students are out of control. You do not have to go far to see it. (A year ago, I took my grandson into my home to provide schooling because of the daily barrage of bullying there. Add in the pandemic thinking that filled the schools, and it was time for a change.) 

The most significant positive need in a classroom for children is a supportive and inclusive learning environment that fosters their emotional, social, and academic growth. This includes a safe and respectful atmosphere, a qualified and engaging teacher, a challenging and relevant curriculum, opportunities for interaction and collaboration, and individualized attention and support. 

So, in the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “For every obstacle there is a solution. Persistence is the key. The greatest mistake is giving up!”  

Here we are. We must look at a problem and work for a solution.  

Here are some thoughts to begin this dialog here at Positive News For You.

For parents, raising children can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but it can also be challenging. As parents, we want our children to grow up to be happy, confident, and successful individuals. But how do we help them get there?  

One of the most important things we can do as parents is nurture our children’s emotional and social development. This means fostering happiness, confidence, empathy, resilience, kindness, gratitude, curiosity, creativity, responsibility, and cooperation. Focusing on these critical traits can give our children the foundation they need to thrive. 

We want to be a resource of encouragement for these parents, teachers, and friends. We want to provide that help and are looking to educators and supporters of our nonprofit to help with that. 

“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy 

Happiness: Happiness is a crucial ingredient for a fulfilling life, and we must help our children develop a positive outlook and a sense of joy. To do this, we can encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy and support their interests and passions. We can also help them cultivate gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of life and by encouraging them to express thankfulness for what they have. And the key is we must teach them that there is a pursuit of happiness. A daily quest for happiness.

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”  Theodore Roosevelt 

Confidence: Confidence is essential for success in life, and we must help our children develop this trait from an early age. To do this, we can encourage them to try new things and take on challenges. We can also provide them with opportunities to develop their skills and learn from their successes and failures. If they do not learn how to deal with mistakes healthily, they will show up in other ways.

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.”  Ernest Hemingway 

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, and it is a critical quality for success in life. To help our children develop empathy, we can encourage them to be kind and considerate towards others, and to put themselves in other people’s shoes. We can also teach them about the importance of empathy by modeling this behavior ourselves. This is about connecting with others. 

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”    Elizabeth Edwards 

Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and to keep moving forward in the face of adversity. To help our children develop resilience, we can encourage them to take risks and try new things and support them when they face challenges. We can also help them to see that setbacks are opportunities for growth and learning. (One of my significant helps as a child was to read books about those who overcame.)

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”  Kahlil Gibran 

Kindness: Kindness is the quality of being friendly, caring, and considerate, which is essential for building positive relationships. To help our children develop kindness, we can encourage them to be thoughtful and considerate towards others and to help those in need. We can also teach them the importance of kindness by modeling this behavior ourselves. I worked hard to put my children and now my grandchildren in situations that open the doors for kindness. 

“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness – it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude.” – Brene Brown 

Gratitude: Gratitude is the feeling of thankfulness and appreciation, and it is essential for a fulfilling life. To help our children develop gratitude, we encourage them to express thankfulness for what they have and to focus on the positive aspects of life. We can also teach them about the importance of gratitude by modeling this behavior ourselves. Gratitude opens doors to unknown places. Many carry a gratitude journal.

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence.” – Albert Einstein 

Curiosity: Curiosity is the drive to learn and discover new things and is essential for personal growth and development. To help our children develop curiosity, we can encourage them to ask questions and explore their environment. We can also provide them with opportunities to learn and experience new things. 

“Creativity is just connecting things.” – Steve Jobs 

Creativity: Creativity is thinking outside the box and developing new and innovative ideas. To help our children develop creativity, we can encourage them to try new things, express themselves freely, and explore their imagination. We can also provide them with opportunities to create and use their imagination. (There is a great resource that Youtuber Mark Rober has out there called Crunchlabs. I am sure there are many others.)  

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”  Winston Churchill 

Responsibility: Responsibility is the quality of being accountable and reliable, and it is essential for success in life. To help our children develop responsibility, we can encourage them to take ownership of their actions and take care of their lives. 

Responsibility is a critical attribute for success in life, and it’s vital to help our children develop this quality from a young age. Responsibility involves being accountable for one’s actions and taking ownership of tasks and responsibilities. It also consists in being dependable and following through on commitments.

To encourage responsibility in children, it’s important to give them age-appropriate tasks and responsibilities and to hold them accountable for their actions. This can include chores at home, school assignments, and other commitments. To provide them with clear expectations and consequences for their actions, celebrate their successes and encourage them to learn from their mistakes.  

It’s also important to teach children the importance of being responsible and dependable and to model these behaviors yourself. This includes being reliable, following through on commitments, and being accountable for one’s actions.  

Encouraging responsibility in children can have many positive benefits, including increased self-esteem, a sense of pride and accomplishment, and the developing essential life skills. It also sets them up for success in the future, both in their personal and professional life. 

“The most powerful force ever known on this planet is human cooperation—a force for construction and destruction.” – Jonathan Haidt 

Cooperation: Cooperation is the act of working together towards a common goal, and it is an essential quality for success in both personal and professional life. Children can benefit greatly from learning the value of cooperation and developing this skill from a young age. 

To encourage cooperation in children, it’s essential to provide opportunities for teamwork and collaboration. This can include group activities and projects, sports, and games that require cooperation. It’s also important to model cooperative behavior and encourage children to practice sharing, compromising, and working together. 

Additionally, teaching children about empathy and perspective-taking can help them understand and appreciate the perspectives and needs of others, which is a key aspect of cooperation. Encouraging children to communicate effectively and positively resolve conflicts can also help foster cooperation skills. 

Overall, promoting a cooperative environment and teaching children, the importance of working together towards a common goal can set them up for success in the future and help them build positive relationships with others. 

That is where we are beginning. We want to develop curricula, ideas, and fun for young people. If you are interested, I hope you will reach out to us. Lee Johndrow is the owner of Positive News For You and the President of PN4UINC, a 501(c)3

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