Building Superkids: Positive Outlook

- You Will Always Get What You Expect! -

By Sensei Jon Davis

3 May 2024

A man is moving into a new town. He stops at a gas station on the edge of town and says to the owner, “Hi. I’m moving into this town. What kind of people do you have here?” The owner replies, “Well, I don’t know. What kind of folks did you have in your last town?” The newcomer said, “They were awful! Always rude and quick to cause problems!” The gas station owner shrugged and said, “Well, I guess you’ll find it’s pretty much the same around here.”


Later that same day, another newcomer pulls into the same gas station. “Hi!” He said. “I’m new in town. What kind of people do you have here?” The gas station owner said, “Well, I don’t know. What kind of people did you have in your last town?” The newcomer said, “They were wonderful. Everybody was friendly and went out of their way to lend a helping hand!” The gas station owner shrugged and said, “Well, I guess you’ll find it’s pretty much the same around here.”

You will always get what you expect…


There are two types of people: 

    1) Those who go about their day and look for doom, gloom, and failure. They see it as a life of hardship, filled with defeat, disappointment, and scarcity.

    2) Those who expect to encounter kindness, friendship, and success as they go through life. They see the world as a wonderful place, filled with opportunities, blessings, and positive experiences.


The good news? We have the power to choose which outlook we have! We all know that we won’t necessarily get what we ask for in life. Nor what we want, what we need, or what we hope for. But, we can shape our own life experiences by the way we choose to view our world.


When working with young children, our words are very powerful. Remember that a young child has no idea what to expect in the future other than what they hear from you!! Young children take everything that we say as truth!


If you tell your three year old son that… he’s bad… he’ll not enjoy school… he’s not kind… he’ll never be popular… guess what? He’ll grow up expecting those words to be true. On the other hand, if you tell him that he is smart, good, and fun to be around, he will grow up expecting that to be true. Without questioning, they will believe what you tell them. The will expect your words to be true. What’s more, they will become true. We shape our own reality based on what we expect.


Create a Shining Path Ahead:

Successful parents/teachers enjoy creating a bright picture of the future for their children. They are skilled at building excitement about, and anticipation for, future events. They say things like:

  • “Joey, I just know that you’re going to love this movie!! It’s right up your alley!”
  • “Sally, you are going to really enjoy school! You are so smart, good at making friends, and such a great listener in class!”
  • “You know what I love about you, Ted? That you can do hard things. You are always up for a challenge, and have a ‘never give up!’ type of attitude!”

Children will have many positive life experiences in the future. And, unavoidably, some negative ones too. Work hard to draw your child’s outlook toward the positive!

Guarding the Past:

You are the guardian of the memory vault. Concentrate on recollecting your children’s past triumphs, instilling in them a hopeful outlook for the future. This practice lays a solid foundation for forthcoming achievements. It’s within your power to shape your child’s memory: a past illuminated by joyous moments and triumphs, or one shadowed by discouragement, setbacks, and defeat.



Choose Your Words Carefully:

When working with young children, the words we choose to use play a large part in helping them to develop a positive outlook. Words have tremendous power in shaping the way we think and feel.


    Soft Words: When discussing unpleasant events in the past, use soft words. They can soften the blow of a negative experience. For example:

    Child: “I don’t want to compete in the karate tournament. I did terrible last time!”

    You: “Well, maybe that wasn’t your best. You had a lot going on at that time!”


    Boom Words: When discussing positive experiences, us big, booming, success words to maximise the intensity of the experience. For example:

    You (in child’s presence): “Uncle Todd, you should have seen Joey ride his two wheeler the other day! He was so brave and courageous! I’m really proud of him!”



Make a Big Deal About Hitting the Target, Not the Bullseye:

To encourage a positive outlook, you must always reward an approximation of success. Don’t wait until your child hits the bullseye before you begin to praise their efforts - make a big deal over the fact that they hit the target at all!


Young children develop their skills over time. They’re not going to get it exactly right the first time, so it’s important to reward their effort along the way.


Each interaction you share with your child lays the groundwork for growth. Try to plant as many positive seeds as you can! Take time daily to develop a positive mindset in your children. Then nurture those seeds with care. It’s the steady accumulation of positive experiences that will shape your child’s path!

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