how do you change an attitude

You can’t control others, but you can always control yourself.

I say a variation of this to my children on a regular basis. I try every day to convince them that half the battle is won before you even show up. That the attitude you bring with you to school, to sports, to practice, to a recital, to a friend’s house – everywhere – really does make a huge difference.

I try to convince the child who fights against the morning every. single. day. I try to convince the child who brings an alarming lack of determination to her tasks. I try to convince the child who doubts himself behind all of his bluster. I try to convince the child who thinks she isn’t smart enough. I try and try and try.

But at some point, I have to wonder… is all this trying in vain? It doesn’t seem to sink in. If I stand back and look at it objectively, I suppose it is… I’m sure it is… they say that your kids really do soak in your words and that’s why you should keep talking. (Whoever *they* are.)

It’s just hard to be convinced that I’m winning even a single battle of this parenting war when I am berated because the sun doesn’t rise early enough or watch a child make the same mistakes over and over again. How do I instill in them the attitude they will need to not just muddle through adolescence but life?

I have to tell you, in some ways this parenting gig gets harder and harder.

4 thoughts on “how do you change an attitude

  1. I don’t think you can change someone else’s attitude and the parenting thing does just get harder. For what it’s worth, I think you are doing a great job with your kids.

  2. I really thought that the newborn days were the hardest. The constant feeding and never sleeping and all those struggles, but oh my goodness, no one prepared me for what was to come. I would take those back in a heartbeat, because holding a tiny little baby was SO SO SO easy, lack of sleep and all.

  3. It is true that you can’t change a person’s attitude, but giving the them tools to make positive choices, which includes their attitude, is the monumental task that was given us when we birthed them. Your first line of this post is one that I use often in my office and at home. Are the words sinking in? That is a good question. And maybe we won’t really know until they are much older and don’t know everything anymore, like they do right now.

    1. Yes, a monumental task and yes I am sometimes a voice in the wilderness since they are high in the ivory tower of all-knowingness. I still would like to try and cause an attitude adjustment however.

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