by Carol Sikma
A positive attitude is essential to parenting. A positive attitude affects our marriage, and it affects our family. Often we find that difficult situations become learning experiences when seen in a positive way.
Being positive fosters a positive attitude on the part of others. Though being positive sounds easy, too often it is not practiced on a day-to-day basis. To be positive with each other and our children, we must first be positive as individuals and love ourselves. We must learn to recognize individual strengths and weaknesses and be willing to make the choices and changes necessary to improve ourselves and to stretch and to grow.
It’s important to remember that what and how we say and do things makes a difference. We need to try hard to think before we speak and to consider how our words will affect the other person, whether that person is our mate, our child, or some other person.
Many people send negative messages. They get into the habit of using negative words and practicing a negative approach.
First, we need to count our blessings, realizing many families have very difficult situations in their lives: serious illnesses, handicaps, deaths of family members, unemployment, etc. We may be inspired by the way these families handle their difficulties. On unusually busy or difficult days, we need to let people know we are thinking of them. Good words make people feel less overwhelmed, and they will feel appreciated.
Parents set the tone for the day, and it is important for mornings to get off to a good start—not just for the parents but especially for the children. Therefore, we must establish a routine that gives a calm, fresh start to the day. Each family member must know and do his responsibility. Clothes preparation and schoolwork should be done the previous evening
In the morning school bags are packed, lunches prepared, beds made, dishes rinsed, and the dogs fed. With some forethought, instead of yelling and constantly coaxing, you can have times to talk about the plans for the day, laugh, and feel good. The positive approach builds on itself and makes the day easier. By encouraging the children and respecting their efforts and contributions, you will have a positive home, positive feelings, and positive self-images.