Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Are you are one of those people who always see's the glass half empty? If yes, know that you may be passing this pessimism to your children. Much like a decidedly negative or bullying boss can set the tone for an unhappy office atmosphere, you or your spouse may be setting a similar tone for your home. This is not to say you must happy at all times, but your habitual moodiness, anger, worry and visible unhappiness can affect those around you. If you have ever said “I hate that I am so…” sadly your child may be saddled with the same unhealthy attitude or habit that you see in yourself, be it negativity, bullying or pessimism. Children often mirror what they see their parents do or say. They do what you teach them by your own actions or attitude.
Your little one used to be happy, bubbly and super positive, why are you seeing a turn around? While you cannot dismiss bullying as the problem, as it can be very real. The change you are seeing may be an offshoot of your own attitude or the result of the company your child is keeping; it is up to you to know who your child’s friends are. Take time to engage the friend in a conversation or listen to one that is between the friend and your child. Do you hear a lot of negativity or bullying? If yes, nip it before it becomes a problem. But what do if your own little precious is the one sprouting negativity and such? As television’s Judge Joe Brown say’s “Man up” and take appropriate action to correct this behavior. And don't forget check your own attitude while you at it.
Attitudes can be infectious, if you are in the company of a negative person, you may not become negative but you may find yourself becoming depressed or defensive. Teach your child to speak up in a positive non-aggressive way, remember children will mirror their parents action. I recall that my girlfriend who was always quietly able to take care of herself, worried that her daughter allowed other children to take advantage of her. One day, while we were sitting on her porch watching the kids jumping rope, one child, we will call her Miss Bossy, announced in an authoritative voice that my friend’s daughter would be last to use the rope. No reason was given except this child seemed to be the easiest to push around or be bullied. My friend’s eye got wide, I knew she was ready to do her “angry mommy” thing. Before she could do or say anything, her daughter spoke in a soft voice, without anger or a negative reaction--just a statement of fact, “It’s my rope.” There was no argument from Miss Bossy who simply said “Okay, it’s your turn now.” That was almost 30 years ago and it still resonates in my mind as such a telling moment and such homage to my friend.