Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wise Words Wednesday: Happiness is an attitude

"Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same." ~Francesca Reigler 


We've got a serious case of the grumps in our house between the two boys. At least for Aidan, the novelty of school has worn off now that he's experiencing frustrations with his homework and has realized that third grade is tougher than second grade. And Logan...well, he doesn't hate school yet, but doesn't love it either. I guess he likes it ok, but I think his brother's attitude has rubbed off on him recently. Logan really doesn't like homework either, because it gets in the way of his play time after school (an adjustment, for sure).

At the end of the day when I tuck Aidan and Logan into bed, I have a quiet chat with each of them about their day. The first thing I ask is what the best thing was about their day. These days, Aidan in particular is hard-pressed to think of something (anything!) positive. His moodiness isn't a new thing, but school has pretty much always been a positive thing for him, so I really hate to see this shift in his attitude (especially so early into the school year).

I've had countless talks with both boys about how they can't possibly have a day where NOTHING good happens, so I refuse to hear those words. Even if it's something as small as "lunch was yummy" or "I didn't get in trouble," there is always something to be thankful for and a bright side to everything. Basically, at the end of the day, I pretty much require them to think of one happy thing, or one thing they're thankful for and focus on that.

I tell them that it's okay to be upset or in a bad mood sometimes—well all have those days, but being in a bad mood all the time isn't good for them, and it isn't good for the people around them.

As parents, we hate to see our children unhappy and we want to do anything we can to change it. But I'm struggling with the fact that there's only so much I can do to actually make them happy. It has to come from inside them, and all I can do is model a positive attitude and convince them that the bright side of things is a much better place to be.

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful." ~Buddha

Completely unedited pictures Adam took of our post-storm sunset last week. Even if nothing else good happened that day, this sunset was a little bit of happiness to focus on instead. If only Aidan and Logan could think this way... (and if only we'd seen a rainbow, I might have had an even better metaphor :))


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