Do your kids struggle with negativity? Are you constantly having to break up fights? Do you cringe at the words coming out of your child's mouth? Do you wish everyone could just be happy and positive?
A positive attitude at home will leak into the rest of your child's life. The “family” is where the foundation of a positive living is built. It's our job not just to teach being positive, but to model it. Here are 6 ways to do that. (And they spell out the word F.A.M.I.L.Y! Stay tuned to the end of this post for a free printable.)
Our faith in God is the foundation for our attitudes. We not only represent ourselves and our families, but we also represent God. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Because of Jesus, we can trust He'll be with us and guide us. He's not only caring for us on this earth, but He's also preparing a place for us for eternity.
Remind your child that faith in God gives us confidence for today and hope for tomorrow.
Ask, “If we have faith in God, what can we look forward to?” (Lots of amazing, positive things!)
Guide your child to turning any negative interactions into positive ones by pointing your child back to God. “I know this is hard right now, but because of our faith can trust that God will turn things around for good.”
Our attitude is a megaphone of what's happening on the inside. Is your child feel unloved, unappreciated, or disconnected? If so, his or her attitude will show it. When you see a bad attitude starting, instead of beginning with correction, start with connection.
Remind your child he or she can tell you how he or she is feeling instead of acting out.
Ask, “If I could do one thing for you right now, what would that be?”
Guide your child to reach for you instead of lashing out. “If you need me to understand, talk to me. I want to be here for you.”
Mental goodness is one way of saying, “Think about good things.” Instead of replaying what you don't like about your home, family, and school, try to find the positives.
Remind your child that bad thoughts will lead to bad actions and good thoughts will lead to good actions.
Ask, “What is one good thing you can think about right now?”
Guide your child to ask God to help him think about good things. Pray together about this.
Kids may not understand the word integrity. It means being honest, trustworthy, and doing what you say you're going to do. “What better fingerprint can you leave on your children and their children than that of integrity?” asks my friend Don. What better fingerprint, indeed!
Remind your child that when you break someone's trust, it's hard to gain it back.
Ask, “Why is trust important in our family? What would it be like if we didn't trust each other?”
Guide your child to follow through on what he or she says he or she is going to do, even when it gets hard.
Love covers a multitude of sins. Even when our home isn't positive, love can heal wounds. Love shouldn't be held back. Instead, love should be offered up generously.
Remind your child that even when he or she isn't being positive, you still love him or her.
Ask, “How do you need me to love you right now—with a hug, with encouragement, with a bit of space?”
Guide your child to love others even when he or she is being unlovable. Also guide your child to turn to God and to family when he or she needs love.
You Before Me
When we think of others, all the rest of these things seem to take care of themselves. Learning how to think of others is something that will benefit your child for his whole life.
Remind your children that we can ONLY think about others first with God's help. This is not something we can do in our own strength. Daily we need to go before God and ask Him to help us place others first.
Ask, “What would happen if everyone took care of each other's needs before they took care of their own?” and “Would your needs get taken care of?”
Guide your child to reading 1 Corinthians 13:4–6. All the examples of love listed (patience, kindness, trust, hope, etc.) are ways to put others first. When we treat people this way, they are more likely to treat us the same in return!
Having a positive family is not easy, but the more you work on these six areas the more you'll see your family's attitudes transform!
Tricia Goyer, TriciaGoyer.com