Life is exhilarating
Life is fun...
It can also be hard...
Really hard. And frustrating. And maddening.
And most of the time the difference is in your attitude. What is that statistic? It's 10% what you have to do, 90% your attitude toward it...I don't know how true that actually is but my experience seems to bear it out.
So how do we encourage great attitudes in our children?
Are your ready?
Start with yourself...
Ahhhh, yes, I am talking to myself as much as to anyone else. This is a painful subject because none of us like to really look deep at ourselves...or if we do, we often don't like what we find there. But we ALL have the CHOICE to have a good, or a bad, attitude.
We need to teach this truth to our children starting at the very earliest ages.
If I'm running around spitting tacks at everyone, why am I surprised, frustrated or angered when my child "spits tacks" at me?
Obviously, you and your child will not have a great attitude every moment of every day, but there are some guideposts, or checkpoints you can use to gauge your attitude and help readjust it if necessary.
Remember, we...you and I as the parents, set the tone of our home.
I sometimes struggle with anger. And I have come to realize that if I find myself getting angry at my kids, it is a cue that I am not being consistent in how I respond to them. I was amazed at this realization. Listening to my emotions, my attitude, and using it as a cue that I need to change how I am doing or not doing something, with my kids, has been a GAME-CHANGER...
So what to do?
Take a deep breath.
I don't know anytime in our lives when taking a deep breath is not a good idea. :)
Assess your emotions.
Figure out what you are feeling and, if you can, figure out WHY you feel that way.
You cannot change what you don't understand.
In my case, I resolve to work at being consistent in responding to my children.
One thing that has helped me tremendously over the years is changing how I think about my children. I decided I wanted to consider my children in terms of compassion instead of anger. Remember how Jesus, "...had compassion on them." I wanted to be like that. If my kids messed up something seemingly on purpose, or if they yelled in anger, or gave any other indication they were upset, I began to train myself to think of them as needing help rather than taking offense at what they were doing to me. I prayed daily to have compassion on them instead of getting angry at them. I tried to apply the golden rule and respond to them in compassion as I would want to be treated if I was upset. Responding with compassion instead of frustration or anger diffused their frustration or anger much more quickly than if I became upset at them. Everyone wants others to understand them. Everyone wants to be treated with kindness. I do. You do. Our children and spouses do. If we want to see change...it starts with me. With you. Model it and your kids will begin to pick it up. Attitudes are caught before they can be taught.
These same principles work for everyone...not just you, your spouse, your children, but also your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors and extended family.
But it is up to us as parents to teach our children how to deal with their emotions.
Teach your kids the golden rule: Do unto others as you would want them to do to you.
And practice it. All. The. Time.
Talk it out and make plans to help each other.
Once your kids know you are on their side, you will be amazed at how much you all will grow.
What do you think? What has worked for you to help everyone have a good attitude? Please post in comments below! Thanks!
Article by Ruth Grunstra
All Rights Reserved
Hi I'm Ruth
What is the biggest challenge you are facing with your child? My husband and I had the first of our 8 children in 1984 and our youngest in 2002. We've been married since 1980 and we are always learning new ways to engage our children. We would love to hear from you. Contact us and let us know what you have found that works and what doesn't, or ask me a question.
Thanks for stopping by.
Your email is safe with us. We will only use it to send you new blog posts and updates from this site.