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Best ways to promote positive attitudes in kids

Updated on June 19, 2012

After a long day with your children filled with one fun activity after another does this sound familiar? "Mom, I wanted to stay longer. Why did we have to leave? You're mean!" or "What are we going to do tomorrow? We don't have anything to do! It's going to be boring!" I am really not sure sometimes why I set up playdates, sports activities, fun days at the park, going to the pool/beach with friends in tow, because when it is all said and done my 4 and 8 year old have a hard time appreciating what they did get to do or have done. The tone is always negative, which I have come to the conclusion goes hand in hand with not appreciating what they have in their life. To create a positive attitude I decided I needed to not only teach them, but show them how to be appreciative of and grateful for everything in their life. I wanted to find the best ways to help them realize what they should be thankful for, and why it is important to show your appreciation. I then decided that I would have to make a conscious effort myself to talk about and point out the things in my life that are positive, that I am thankful for, so I can lead by example, and then I can help them to do it too.

Here are a couple of ways that I am creating a more positive attitude in my children:

  • I instituted a bed time ritual. Before bed each night each of my boys has to talk about three things that they are thankful for that day and why. It adds a nice touch to bed time and seems to dissepate any bad or negative feelings that may have built up during the day.
  • I point out and count negative words & behaviors during the day. If they reach three during the day they have to take a time out and can only leave the time out when they have thought of the same amount of positive thoughts (appreciate something they have, people in there lives or a skill that they have mastered). They have begun to see that there are plenty of wonderful things all around them that they should be thankful for. They don't have to focus on the next exciting thing.
  • I make sure they participate in some type of volunteer activity. This is easy to do since they want to play almost every sport there is and every league has plenty of ways that you can volunteer to help out by raising money to make sure the facilities are safe to use, helping to clean up the fields, or helping other kids in the league.
  • For my 8 year old we read a chapter in a special book each night called 50 Daily Devotions for Kids only. Attitude. It is a book of bible versus, quotations, and kid-friendly stories about Attitude. You know a book is doing something good when your child reminds you about it and then asked to read more than one daily devotion. Just to give you an idea of what the book is about I'd like to tell you a little bit about the first daily devotion. It would make sense that the first devotion is about Attitude or actually it is titled "The Right Kind of Attitude". It goes on to talk about what attitude means, includes a quote from Zig Ziglar that states "A positive attitude will have positive results because attitudes are contagious", the book then goes on and give's a parent tip, a kid tip, and a short prayer. I am not a real religious person. I think of myself as more spiritual, but you don't have to be religious to appreciate the message in this book. It is a great lesson for children!

I hope together my children and I can live a happy, positive life and I know that these few things that we do each day will help us towards this goal. I also hope that it might help you and your family if you are looking for ideas to promote positive attitudes in your children too.


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    • Keeley Shea profile imageAUTHOR

      Keeley Shea 

      6 years ago from Norwich, CT

      Thank you for your really nice comment on my hubs! I am committed to being conscious and aware of my children's behavior. The article was written to show a simple process that works if you work at it consistently. Which is the hard part! LOL! Thanks again!

    • visionandfocus profile image


      6 years ago from North York, Canada

      Wow, yet another awesome hub! I loved your hub on making an "I can do this" list for your 4-year-old, and I love this one as well. It's so amazing that you as a parent have identified a problem (negativity, non-appreciation) in your children and then decided it's change-worthy and possible to change, and then chosen to be pro-active and committed in changing it, with yourself setting an example and leading the way. And what wonderful ways you've come up with to make the process simple, elegant and meaningful. All parents should read this. I'm sharing and voting up and awesome.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      These are all great ideas for encouraging children (and adults) to become more positive. I'm not sure I agree with the timeout for negative thoughts, but the rest of it was spot on.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      These are great methods for encouraging your children to appreciate what they have and encouraging 'an attitude of gratitude'. Gotta love that Zig Ziglar. Nice bedtime routine too, winding down the day with the kids. Good ideas.


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