About Scott Stoll

Scott Stoll asked himself a question: “If I could do anything, what would I do?” His answer resulted in a quest for happiness around the world on a bicycle (32,344 miles, 4 years, 59 countries, 6 continents). Since coming home, Scott has continued living his dream by spreading his message of finding happiness through writing books and working with kids of all ages, including being an artist-in-residence and inspirational speaker. He has also been honored to be named the Cultural Ambassador to Argentina by the U.S. Department of State and has received the Hosteling International’s “Spirit of Adventure Award,” among other distinctions. Read more about Scott on The Argonauts.

Increase Optimistic Thinking at Home: Part II

As we enter a new year full of new challenges, it is more important than ever to think optimistically. With the ongoing pandemic, social-emotional learning is more important now than ever. In creating our book, Dream It!: A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness, with my co-author Sara E. Williams, PhD, we did ground-breaking research that measured the effectiveness of strategies we identified to increase optimistic thinking in children. In our last post, we shared a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal, Child & Youth Care Forum, that validates Dream It! A Playbook to Spark Your Awesomeness as scientifically proven to increase optimistic thinking. In this post, we’ll share strategies to help you teach your child to think optimistically and ways to bring books to life, both in general and specifically for our book, Dream It!. To help, we will provide some free games and activities, including a new augmented reality game. How to bring a book to life. As a parent or teacher, you may feel challenged to bring books to life for your children. One of the best ways to do this is to connect what you read in the book to your child’s life by providing hands-on experiences that allow them to explore the concepts personally. For example, if you were reading The Three Bears to a young child, you might make oatmeal or porridge for them to eat, or get them to compare the size of their bed to the size of your bed. In Dream It!, we use this approach to teach children how to dream and how to turn dreams into reality. We define dreaming as following your passion, thinking optimistically and setting goals. We teach these concepts by playing games and doing activities, each one having been tested in a real-world classroom. Games are fun and interactive ways to help your child explore concepts they read about. To try some, you can download a free sample of chapter 4. These are what we call bucket list games that help kids brainstorm their dreams. For example, the Dream Board activity is a way to help children collect new ideas in one place. Encourage them to add photos, ticket stubs, drawings, sticky notes — anything that sparks their passion. Then every day they can visualize their dreams coming true. After identifying their dreams, Dream It! shows kids how to sort their dreams according to values and skills and then deconstruct and recombine them to make up new and unique dreams. For example, a child might have the dream of being a cheetah. Adults might dismiss this dream because it’s impossible! However, we encourage children to use their imagination so they can discover their passions and reframe them into more feasible goals. We could ask a child who dreams of being a cheetah why they want to do that. They might say because they love running and being fast and feeling free. We would then help them explore other ways they achieve those same goals

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Increase Optimistic Thinking at Home: Part II 2020-12-30T22:02:43-05:00