You can look at all the negative in the world. You can focus on the dark clouds above. Or you can look for the silver lining, the bright spots.
We have that expression about whether the glass is half-full or half-empty? Well, what worldview are you going to teach your children?
Sure, things are bad. There is a lot going on. Are you going to fill your house with that doom and gloom? Or are you going to teach your kids to hope, to believe in their ability to make a difference, to find the opportunity inside the obstacles that life presents?
The author Alex Haley once said that he believed his job as an author was to “find good and praise it.” Isn’t that also your job as a parent? In more ways that one?
First, we’re always going to have more success rewarding good behavior in our kids than in punishing bad behavior. So as a parent, we’ve got to always be looking for what we want to see in them and making that our focus, instead of just going around seeking out conflict and engaging in criticism. But second, as far as our perceptions and portrayal of the world, are we going to talk up what we want to see? Or are we going to be constantly belaboring all the evil and wrong that we can’t seem to escape?
We have a choice: Inspire or disillusion. Empower or depress. What will it be? Well, what we focus on, what we talk about, what we show them, goes a long way to answering that question.