Most parents are diligent about keeping poisons out of their home and away from young children. When they think of poison, they think in terms of harmful substances like household cleaners or pesticides.
That is all well and good, but there is another more insidious poison that requires extra vigilance to keep away from our loved ones. It is highly infectious and just a tiny amount can spread quickly from one person to another and destroy your family.
I’m talking about attitude. Have you noticed how one person’s bad attitude can infect a whole group of people? Mom gets mad and yells at Dad. Dad yells at the kids. The kids fight with one another, and on it goes. If you don’t nip it in the bud, the atmosphere of your home becomes toxic.
As parents, our job is to set the tone for our home. Our attitude towards life and our reaction to the things that happen throughout our day is imprinted on our children’s psyche. Do you get angry easily over little things? Do you over-react? Are you unable to adjust when the unexpected happens or things don’t go your way? Are you unforgiving and unloving? Do unkind words, foul language or inappropriate jokes color your speech? Do you serve your family with love, or does resentment color everything you do?
Your children are watching everything you say and do. As adults, our job is to protect the children in our lives from the toxic effects of bad attitudes. That begins by controlling our own attitude and monitoring those of our children. Gently correcting a bad attitude and instructing a child in how to maintain a good attitude is part of our job description as parents. If children are allowed to have a bad attitude or moody personality, they will have few friends and will struggle through life.
Model the behavior you want to see in your children. If you haven’t in the past, it isn’t too late to begin now.
How do you handle a bad attitude in one of your loved ones?