When my daughter was 2-years-old, she wanted to do everything herself. Her determination lent itself to daily mishaps.
When she would spill her juice or drop an object that was too heavy for her to carry, she would look at me with a worried expression.
I would smile and say, “It’s OK. It was an accident.” Her little face would light up, and I could see how relieved she was that I was not upset.
“It’s OK!” was a phrase she would use often.
In his book The Be Happy Attitudes, Robert Schuller said, “It’s not what happens to me that matters most; it’s how I react to what happens to me.”
The way a parent reacts in different circumstances teaches a child a lesson. When a child spills his drink, your reaction gives him a clear message. The lesson has nothing to do with a stained tablecloth. However, it does have a lot to do with not breaking the spirit of a child trying to do something on his own.
Today he’s spilling juice, but sometime in the future it will be learning how to cope with not getting a part in a school play or making a B instead of an A.
You want your child to know how to handle difficult situations in life with strength and a positive attitude. When something happens to them, you want them to think, “It’s OK. I can handle this.”
Self-image affects every part of a child’s life. The image he has of himself and how he thinks you view him will determine how he feels about himself. Negative attitudes are not inborn.
Your child will mirror your attitude and will learn how to solve problems by watching you. He will learn how to respond to different situations by the display in your emotions.
If you fall apart every time you are faced with a difficult situation, or react with anger, your child will more than likely react the same.
If you, however, deal with the incident in a positive way your child will learn he has choices when facing problems.
Teach your children how to react positively to the obstacles they may face in life. And you will be helping them live happier lives.