Positive Attitude: Monkey See, Monkey Do

Posted on April 16, 2019

I’m so excited to share with you a post by renowned Licensed Educational Psychologist and longtime friend, Laurie Adachi, LEP. She has been instrumental in guiding and offering support to both my children through their academic challenges – so much so that my children would reach out to her independently for direction even when they were in college!

I highly respect her work and have referred many of the families that I work with over to her. Laurie truly offers supportive Compassionate Solutions for parents and their children.

Here’s her insightful take on how our own attitudes affect our kids.

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Many parents come into my office asking why their children do certain things. Why do they struggle to keep their backpack and assignments organized? Why are they not making new friends at school? Why do they constantly test boundaries?

Very often the answer has a lot to do with parents’ own behavior. Unfortunately, kids aren’t just watching when we succeeded at not losing our temper or when we seize a critical teaching moment. They witness the example we set unconsciously too. This is especially true of having a positive attitude.

Having a positive attitude starts below the surface. It’s not something we can turn on just for our kids. The good news, though, is that when we begin cultivating a positive attitude in ourselves, we get to enjoy many unforeseen benefits, in addition to more positive children. So, let’s talk about how we can improve our attitudes from the inside out.

Pause before you complain, even when your kids aren’t around

When you’ve had a challenging day, or you are dealing with a seemingly endless problem, it can be tempting to complain. Before you do, take a pause. Ask yourself if complaining will add to the frustration of the situation? Will complaining make you angrier towards someone involved? Or, do you need to verbally process what you’re experiencing and would like another person’s opinion on the topic? Ask yourself if your words will have positive or negative consequences.

Consider the root of your negative thoughts

Some people will set negative expectations to protect themselves from disappointment. Others harbor negative thoughts because that was the example their parents set for them. Still, others are negative because they only focus on the negative things in life. They don’t live in the beauty of the moment. Why do you entertain negative thoughts?

Question the pattern of your speech

Speaking negatively doesn’t always come from a deeper issue. Being negative is easy and if you fall into a pattern of negativity, it’s difficult to get out without being intentional about it.

It might help to consider the people you spend the most time with. If your closest friends or relatives tend to dwell on negative things more than positive, it is easy to do so as well. When speaking, try to be aware of the type of situations you tend to talk about. Are you focusing on all of the negative things that happened throughout the day? If so, try talking more about the positive things. This is not the same as sweeping the bad things under a rug or putting up a false pretense. This is about giving power to good things rather than bad.

Enjoy the Benefits

When we think, talk, and live with a positive attitude, we get to enjoy better health, more joy in raising our children, and all around more happiness. If you’re interested in finding more tools to live a positive life, check out the Happy Relaxed Parenting classes. And if you haven’t already, get a copy of Roma Khetarpal’s book The “Perfect” Parent.

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Laurie Adachi is a licensed educational psychologist and credentialed school psychologist. She has held a private practice in Santa Clarita, CA for over 20 years. She is passionate about equipping parents and students with personalized strategies to help them overcome learning challenges and more.

Follow Laurie on Facebook @laurieadachitherapy and Instagram @laurie_edupsych.