How can positive parental attitudes impact on your children?

by | Jan 30, 2017

Why is it whenever I encounter someone with an inspiring attitude, nine times out of ten that person has suffered, or is suffering some adversity?

Childhood Girls

The most positive people I know, understand what it is to feel loss, pain or suffering and yet you would never know. They take every challenge in life, no matter how difficult, and find a positive way of looking at it.

These individuals could spend their days moping and feeling sorry for themselves, telling other people about the rough hand they’ve been dealt and constantly analysing ‘why me’, but they don’t do that. Why?

I’ve not always been the most positive person. In fact, I don’t think this kind of attitude comes naturally to anyone. A lot of adult behaviour is learned, so your attitudes to life might very well reflect those of your parents. They could, if looking at it another way, be a direct result of parental attitudes and a need to move away from that negativity.

Taking a positive outlook on life is something that needs to come from within.

It’s easier to moan and feel sorry for your lot in life. It takes a lot more courage to say ‘hey, you know what, it’s not all that bad, look at what we’ve got?’ For those who’ve experienced true hardship, they understand this more than anyone. They know what they’ve lost and so can appreciate what they’ve got.

I hate to hear my children moan.

In fact, I can’t stand it and I always make an effort to remind them to think about what they’re saying and look at their problem in a different way. I want them to grow up with this positive type of attitude. They will need it to survive in this crazy world.

I don’t like to hear my children feeling sorry for themselves. They have no right to do that. And whilst it’s ok to remind them of how many children in the world would kill to be in their position, this doesn’t always register with a child. I feel it’s better to work on their attitude and get them to think about their problems from another angle.

We bought a number of positive thinking books for our children, from early years picture books, up to young adult.

They all deal with the same thing, which is how you look at life and deal with everyday situations around you. Some say it in the most simplest of ways, like the lovely ‘Have you filled a bucket today?’ one of my favourites. They all show that positive behaviour can have an impact on your life for the better, including both your mental and physical well-being. It’s worth reminding ourselves how we deal with situations when our youngsters are constantly looking to us for guidance.

It won’t be an easy process, but I feel it’s something worth working at and constantly repeating the messages. It helps me, as an adult, by reminding me to behave in the same way – practise what you preach and all that.

If I hear someone moaning about how difficult their life is because they have to run their children to so many clubs and try to make dinner in between and how hard it is, and all this whilst they’re at the gym or having coffee with their friends, I wonder can they really hear themselves? Everyone has difficulties in their lives, I get that, but perhaps you can think about what you put on other people because you won’t hear the ones with the greatest suffering moaning about it. They just don’t. They just get on with their lives and somehow find the strength to find joy and happiness from whatever they can around them.

We could all learn from that sort of behaviour.



  1. Kamsin

    Great post. I have lots of thoughts on this subject. Too many to write here!

    But I just came across a book called ‘Emotional Agility’ and one thing the author says (she was speaking on a podcast) is that trying to be positive and telling yourself you shouldn’t be feeling sorry for yourself are ineffective. Food for thought, must add it to my ‘to-read’ list.

    And not complaining and just ‘getting on with it ‘ doesn’t necessarily make someone positive. They may end up with physical or mental illness caused by repressing their emotion.

    When I was a kid there was a lady who lived near us who had an illness which made her wheeelchair bound and mostly housebound. I forget what, but some degenerative illness. She was the most calm, serene person I’ve ever met. It was almost as if she’s already passed over into the next life. She gave to others in whatever way she could and I can just remember when she touched your hand you could feel the positive energy flow.

    Anyway, not many people reach that state. True positivity is rare. I’m not sure where I’m going with this….

    • Nicola

      I’m not sure what I think about that. It’s like giving people an excuse to feel sorry for themselves. Surely you have to take a positive mindset in order to change your behaviour. If you have mental health issues, it’s different because you can’t help the way you feel and there’s no way you can tell yourself to get on with it and that be effective enough. Being positive has to be a learned behaviour though, only possible if you train yourself to think in a certain way. Hmm, interesting thoughts though…

  2. suz

    I hate hearing anyone of any age moaning.
    The trouble is, it’s only when something really terrible happens that we realize how good life was before. Hence all those inspiring people that are having a bad time.
    Great reminder to stay positive.

    • Nicola

      That’s true and it’s a real factor as to why people like that are so different in their approach to life


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