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Accentuating the Positive

Choosing how to interact with the world

November 2013

The words we speak, our attitude, how we approach others – all these actions set an example for our children, whether we realize what we're doing or not. When we choose to be positive and optimistic, our behavior teaches our children how to cope when things don't go our way. This is different from trying to be perfect, which is an unattainable goal.

I recently heard someone compliment a parent on his child's performance after a game. The parent responded back, "I wish she was as good as what you think." My first instinct was to say something to this parent, but as I turned around I caught the girl's reaction to his words. It washed over her face. She did not look mad or even sad, rather she looked burdened, as if a one hundred pound brick had been placed on her back.

Of course, I am not suggesting we tell our kids they are amazing and perfect at every turn. What I am suggesting is that how we talk to our children, even in offhand ways, has an impact on how they feel about themselves. And this applies to most people we come into contact with. Even if I am having a bad day, that does not give me permission to speak negatively to someone else. I still have a responsibility to approach others in a positive manner.

I once read an article that chronicled the day of a person who had a negative attitude versus a person with a positive attitude. Both did the exact same things in the course of the day and

interacted with similar people, but their experiences were vastly different because of the attitude they had employed throughout the day. Have you ever had a negative boss? A negative friend? If so, you know that after a while any interaction with this person feels like a burden.

Fortunately as parents we have a choice every day to show our children what a positive attitude can do. It's not always easy, but deciding to speak words of encouragement, support and kindness instead of words that make others feel guilty, shameful or burdened, will nurture a positive attitude in our kids – which they will spread as they grow and impact others.

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Tags: In This Issue, Mommy Magic, Parenting

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