The other day when I was walking by our company copier, I saw this article laying there. I picked it up and it was one of those “too good not to share” articles.
Our Barbara’s Place Director, Dr. Lynne Jahns had printed it for a seminar she is doing this summer. It is written by speaker/author, Donna Jones, and published on Crosswalk.com. Here is the first installment.
Let’s face it: No parent wants to raise a child with a bad attitude, but somewhere between the ages of zero and 18 every child has one, which means every parent must deal with it. Ephesians 4:23 tells us “Be made new in the attitude of your mind.” Clearly, God cares about our attitudes. But does having a bad attitude constitute being a child with a bad attitude? What’s the difference? And how do I know if I’m raising a kid with attitude issues?
Not every child who has a bad attitude is a child with a bad attitude. For instance, a child having a bad day differs from a kid with a bad attitude. One is temporary, the other ongoing. One is situational: Change the circumstance and you’ll change the attitude. The other is systemic:
Change the circumstance and the attitude stays negative.
Still, having a bad attitude can result in being a person with a bad attitude, if not dealt with properly. How do you know if your child is sliding into the murky waters of major attitude issues?
Here are 10 signs you are raising a child with a bad attitude:
- Negativity is the norm.
All kids are negative sometimes. After all, what kid delights in cleaning his room or eating his vegetables? But if your child’s attitude is consistently negative, you must examine the root. This means asking some hard questions: Is your home filled more with criticism or with praise? How often do you complain? Can your family members move from seeing the worst in a situation to finding the best? Does your family regularly express gratitude? How often do you laugh… or even smile?
To be sure, some people’s temperaments are more prone to see the glass half-empty. Tweens can be moody. Preschoolers will pout. But attitudes are more caught than taught. It’s difficult to raise a positive kid in a negative home. Make it your goal to cultivate an environment of positivity and you’ll likely see attitudes improve.
- Your child complains, whines, or pouts. All. The. Time.
Like a constant “drip, drip, drip” these habits wear on our last nerve. But here’s the important part: Not only do these habits drive us crazy, they are meant to. Complaining, whining, and pouting push our buttons, often driving us to give in to our children’s wishes, wants or whims, even when we know it’s in their best interest to say “no.” When these attitudes and behaviors show up in your child (and they will!) you must resist the temptation to cave.
When our kids hit the tween and teenage years, we could count on hearing at least one child complain over what we called “family fun days.” Years earlier, these weekend excursions were met with delight, but when time with friends trumped time with family, getting everyone in the car with a positive attitude was about as easy as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. What my husband and I planned as family fun felt more like family feud. But we didn’t cave. “Trust us. You’ll have a great day” became our go-to line. It wasn’t easy, but the dividends paid off. Our kids did have a great day (most of the time), our family bonded in ways that only happens by spending time together, and our kids learned bad attitudes don’t get positive results.
I trust this first installment was helpful. I will share the rest in the next several weeks with you. Parenting and grand-parenting is an awesome responsibility, isn’t it?
Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!
Bill Welte, D.D.
President/CEO of America’s Keswick
Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: Of all the things in the world that stink in the nostrils of men, hypocrisy is the worst. —C.H. Spurgeon
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” – Romans 8:26