In The Optimistic Child, Dr. Martin E. P. Seligman offers parents, teachers, and coaches a well-validated program to prevent depression in children. In a thirty-year study, Seligman and his colleagues discovered the link between pessimism—dwelling on the most catastrophic cause of any setback—and depression. Seligman shows adults how to teach children the skills of optimism that can help them combat depression, achieve more on the playing field and at school, and improve their physical health.
As Seligman states in his new afterword for this edition, “Teaching children optimism is more, I realized, than just correcting pessimism . . . It is the creation of a positive strength, a sunny but solid future-mindedness that can be deployed throughout life—not only to fight depression and to come back from failure, but also to be the foundation of success and vitality.”