What You Are Really Telling Your Kids

“Children learn early in the life that life is either a gift to be enjoyed or a burden to bear.” ~Dr. John Bowlby

How I live my life speaks volumes to my children. The more I stumble along this path of choosing joy and gratitude, the more I see how the opposite can negatively affect the small people in my life.  If I choose to live each day as a nuisance and a burden, I am raising them to do the same.  I am stealing their joy.

I know that words have power, to build up or tear down.  I know that the words I choose to tell myself can make or break my attitude toward life.  But what about those words that just float out there for anyone to hear…and what of these children who listen to what I say all day long?

When I am cleaning up around the house and muttering about the mess, a natural byproduct of a house full of kids. When I “vent” on the phone to a friend about how my kids are driving me crazy.  When I heap on sarcasm out of irritability and impatience.

While at home, I can feel that I should be able to “let down my guard” and let emotions rule. I forget that someone is always watching and taking notes.

The way that I approach my life is a lesson plan for my children in how to liveWhat am I really telling my children?

My attitude often shows life as a burden, children as inconveniences, chores as drudgery.  My words reinforce the lesson.

I need to scrap this curriculum of negativity and teach them something new.

I want to tell them that life can be hard, but is always beautiful. I want to show them that every moment is a gift.  I want to model a graceful attitude, a positive outlook.  I want them to know that every moment I serve as their mother is a privilege.

I know that change is possible: humble gratitude gives birth to joy, and joy witnessed is contagious. When I model that joy, they will catch my “disease.”

Proverbs 15:13 – “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.

How do you model a positive attitude for your children?

Lydia is Mama to 4 (soon to be 5!) little ones, wife to a wonderful husband, knitter, writer, grace-seeker and beauty chaser.  You can catch up with Lydia daily at Small Town Simplicity.

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7 comments to What You Are Really Telling Your Kids

  • Katrina

    Thanks. This has been a difficult week, and I needed the reminder!

    [Reply]

  • Jen

    Timely post. We have had the stomach flu in our home for two weeks. My husband has been gone on business for 5 days 4 more to go and my attitude stinks right now. I’m making some hot tea and will try an attitude adjustment.

    [Reply]

  • Such a great post Lydia! Thanks for the reminder 😀

    [Reply]

  • I haven’t been modeling a positive attitude. There has been a real battle of negative thoughts (especially of how bad I am doing). Which, I know, starts a downward spiral.

    “I know that the words I choose to tell myself can make or break my attitude toward life.”

    I know I needed to do something to change but I couldn’t see where to start. You know, when the mess is sooo big that your brain can’t get wrapped around it.

    “I want to tell them that life can be hard, but is always beautiful. I want to show them that every moment is a gift. I want to model a graceful attitude, a positive outlook. I want them to know that every moment I serve as their mother is a privilege.”

    This really spoke to me. This is the motivation to tackle the problem.

    And here is my first step towards change…

    “I know that change is possible: humble gratitude gives birth to joy, and joy witnessed is contagious. When I model that joy, they will catch my “disease.””

    I can change my thinking by countering the negative thoughts with thanksgiving. Which will start the ball rolling.

    Thank you!!!

    [Reply]

  • this is so timely! i am a homeschooling mama to our 11 yr old girl and have been struggling this week with feeling like i’m not teaching her “enough”, in the realm of academics. and then it hit me: what matters MOST right now, is that i am LIVING a life of dependence on my Savior; FAITH in Him at all times; speaking His Word in all circumstances. this is what i want her to learn MORE THAN ANYTHING!
    thank you!

    [Reply]

  • […] people, who are kind members of society. I can (barely) handle being that kind of dad. I can show my kids how to be kind, […]

  • wow…Thank you so much for this post, it literally brought tears to my eyes…I am a joy thief but want to change…I am actually going to print this post to remind me to adjust my attitude.

    Blessings Kelsie

    [Reply]

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