Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Attitudes Are Shown AND Taught

As parents, we desire the best for our children.  We want them to grow up to be strong, healthy, smart, productive, caring, and happy adults.  We want to offer our kids a little better taste of the good life than we had ourselves.  A thousand amazing possibilities dance through our heads as we proudly watch our little ones grow, achieve, and evolve…until a temper tantrum, ungrateful comment, or I-can’t/I-won’t attitude brings it all to a screeching halt!

Immediately, our minds start racing.  Where did I go wrong?  I’ve taught my kids to be polite and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.  I’ve encouraged them to do their best in everything.  I’ve tried to make learning fun and exciting   I’ve taught them to respect me and all authority figures.  I’ve told them it’s not okay to lash out in anger.  I’ve taught them so much…what happened?

Trust me.  We’ve all been there many times.  The truth is I’m finding myself there a lot more the older my kids get.  In my latest turmoil with my kids, I was reminded of something invaluable: we can’t simply ‘teach’ our kids and walk away.  Especially with things like attitudes and habits, teaching is not enough.  Once the teaching is over, the lesson has barely begun.

We must remind our kids of our teachings from time to time.  We should also be helping them reflect upon and grow to understand our teaching completely.  But most importantly, we need to create the best habits and attitudes in our children by repeatedly living our teachings.  Kids really do learn best from our example and they adopt our attitudes and habits...much more than we realize.

Recently, my 8-year-old son has been consumed with such a negative, impossible, and uncooperative attitude lately.  Of course, kids go through phases and have their difficult moments. However, I sensed there was something more to this.  Then, this week, I was going through my Facebook timeline to find something I had post a few days past.  It didn’t take me long before I realized that I’ve been excessively negative and irritable lately.

Of course, I have good reason.  My health hasn’t been the greatest lately, we are trying to fix a small financial crisis,  and I’ve been going through a difficult time overall.  It’s healthy to vent and express negative emotions; however, lately, I’ve let it consumed my day.  Instead of venting and then refocusing on the positives or finding constructive ways to deal with my issues, I’ve gotten stuck on the expressing part.  If my social media accounts are this full of negativity, how has my offline life looked like lately?  I can tell you it isn’t pretty!

Ultimately, I’m determined to bounce back from this situation and use it as a way to teach AND show my kids that life gets hard at times, but it’s never ok to allow it to leave you bitter or angry.  It is not fine to allow difficulties to rob your life of happiness, joy, and your healthy relationships with others.  And I want to help my son to see the positives in his life again, so he can be much more positive and happy about the ups and downs of childhood (and beyond).


  1. Hi Amanda,

    Saying hello from the A to Z Challenge.

    It's hard to be positive when we are surrounded by negativity. It takes a certain amount of discipline to keep thinking positively. Sometimes though, I learned that unplugging from social media on a regular basis can be a bigger help.

    Wishing you all the best with the A to Z Challenge!

  2. It's hard, and raising them doesn't stop when they're 18, especially when they have psych issues. It saddens my that my son inherited these from me. I hope that one day he finds his way to something that gives his life real meaning. At least he is searching.

  3. You know I think sometimes the Mama's can set the mood for the day. I find on those days when I am singing or goofing around that my own children are extremely happy and join in with me. When I am feeling down they tend to follow suit. Good luck with everything.

  4. I agree love the blog title, keep posting.

  5. Hello! Hope everything is okay.

    Do you plan to continue with the A to Z Challenge?

    We are cleaning up the list.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

    1. Yes, I do plan on continuing. In fact, I'm working more tonight. Just dealing with some health issues, including a cold and a migraine. But I'm determined to catch up.