One day at the doctor’s office, our much-respected pediatrician said to me that our children were really good kids. I think I just didn’t know what to say and responded with, “We like them!” He said that was probably the secret: liking our kids.
Most of us have encountered “unlikable” kids. Whether they are your own or someone else’s, there is just something about them that makes them seem bratty and unlikable. Do you know what it is that makes them seem that way? Attitude.
Does little Ava pout about everything? You might think, “That’s just the way she is.” And true, she may be wired more that way, but it is likely that she can be trained and encouraged to be more cheerful.
Does little Ethan walk away from your reprimand with a sneer on his face? That’s not okay. You may have pointed out his wrongdoing, and even handed out the perfectly appropriate consequence for his action, but if he walks away with a bad attitude, you have still lost the battle.
Think of the Pharisees. They dotted every I and crossed every T, yet they did not please God. Actions are one thing and can be very good, but the attitude behind the action is what will please God or not.
I was fortunate as a young mother as I had a natural radar for sensing attitude. Our children will attest to that! But I have observed enough mothers in action to know that not every mother has this natural sense.
Are you the one in the room that notices a bad attitude when it seems like the others don’t? That can serve you well. If not, you can train yourself to be more in tune with your own attitude and the attitudes of your children. Learn to pay attention to attitude, I promise you it will be worth your effort and produce good fruit.
Attitudes are contagious, and frankly, they start with Mom. That’s you and me. Have you ever heard the phrase, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? It is true. If Mama is griping through the house unhappy, do you really think the children and their father can be happy? Years of experience underscores for me, NO.
Children with bad or sour attitudes come off as bratty and rude; how much worse a mother with a bad attitude. If you’ve been around one (or if you have been one, as I have), you know that she is poisonous and can bring down everyone around her. You may be thinking that if everyone knew what you were going through, that they would understand your poor attitude. If so, consider this quote by one of my favorite Bible teachers, Chuck Swindoll.
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.”
- How is your attitude? Be honest – even painfully honest – with yourself. Do any necessary changes come to mind? Sometimes a little attitude-tweaking is in order, other times we need nothing short of the power of the Holy Spirit to fully renew us. Don’t let another day go by! For your own sake and for the sake of your family, be transformed into the kind of individual and mother you will be proud to be.
- Does one of your children have an attitude problem? Don’t let it go! Pray for God’s help today and work toward the needed changes.
It is in the power of our attitude to create a home that is bright and shines like gold. As far as it depends on us, let’s not settle for anything less.