What does it mean to you to be positive towards your children?
- to speak nicely at all times, always using the right tone?
- to be encouraging and say all the “right” things at the right time?
- to have light and joyful atmosphere in your home and relationships?
We tend to know what we want to look like but often fail in getting there, sometimes not having a clue how to remotely reach that goal. Life around us seems to dictate our responses and suddenly we realize that we are not acting the way we want to.
So how to be positive and stay positive towards our children?
Keep a Positive Attitude
As with most parenting issues it starts with us – the parent – and being positive starts with our own attitude. What is your attitude like towards waking up in the morning? What is it like towards your husband, your children, breakfast, and your chores? This alone will set the tone for the rest of the day.
It is good to be reminded of something I say to my children often, You can’t change the other person but you can change you. I can change my attitude.
To greet your children with a smile, to greet your day with a smile, will have positive repercussions all throughout the day. Give it a try.
Treat my Children as Precious
We teach our children the preciousness of others and yet this is a lesson that is so applicable to parents in their attitude towards children. We need to see that our children are precious – they are an “other” in our life. The Bible is full of instructions on how to treat ‘others’ – do we apply those verses to our kids? We should.
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We are not to get this confused with giving them everything they want, with letting them go first, with building our life around them – it is our task to train up a child, away from foolishness of ignorance to train them to be wise – to know what is right. While we are training though we need to know that these are little people and these people have been created and loved by God, they are precious and we need to respect them as such. We need to speak to them graciously, kindly, lovingly at all times, even if we are giving instructions or correcting them.
Something I have been personally challenged with over the years is that I speak to my children with respect and consideration when other people are around and yet when we are at home, there are times that they are treated like “children” – the respect of persons is gone. I must choose to see them as God sees them – precious. This will affect how I talk to them, how I instruct them, how I relate to them.
When we Give Instructions
One of the things that is the most distracting from being positive is the idea that we are always giving instructions – many times for tasks that we have already discussed with our children – many times!! Our hearts are discouraged and our tone, our body language becomes negative.
We need to realize that our task at home is to train our children. Training requires a task, or a component of a task, to be done over and over and over and over again. Why is it that sports people – generally highly motivated people – have a coach walking along side of them, constantly telling them what to do? Surely by the time they reach competitive levels in their chosen sport they know how to run, how to catch the ball, how to jump. But still the coach is there reminding, correcting, encouraging. Parents need to grasp this same concept. That is our role, it is what we do!
We are there to guide our children through the many tasks, choices and decisions they have to make. You may think that it is a simple task of picking up their toys but you are training their heart to be responsible, you are training their eyes to see things that need to be done. Our children need to be reminded and encouraged, time and time again just as the sportsmen do. Eventually they will run the race, play the game, on their own, and win, just as the sportsmen do too!
When we wake up on the wrong side of the bed…
What to do if we wake up and our attitude is just not right? Well, what do you do if your child’s attitude is just not right?
The same thing applies.
Jonah didn’t have a good attitude towards the task he was required to do. God gave him a little time, away from the privileges of life, in order for him to think through his attitudes, to think through his heart responses. Though I hope no one is swallowed up by a whale, it is a good lesson for us to learn. We need to find a way to remove ourselves (after all, if we stay we are only going to damage relationships some more) and then we need to sort out our heart.
What is going on in your heart that stops you from being loving and joyful with your family today? Deal with it!