It’s funny when your 8 year old can spark inspiration for a blog post but that’s exactly what has happened with this post.
My oldest is 8 but lately it seems like most days, she’s 16. I think many parents will be able to relate to what I mean by that….it’s her attitude! She was having a particularly difficult day recently. Nothing was working out for her and it ranged from things she could control (asking for ice cream for breakfast probably wasn’t the best decision because she knew the answer already!) to things that she couldn’t control (it was raining so she couldn’t play outside with her friends).
So she decided the best way to handle those situations was to mope around the house and become negative about everything.
I mean everything!
Now, there are very few moments as a parent where I feel like I am #winning but I knew in the midst of her meltdown, I had a choice to make. I could choose to yell and give that attitude right back (which is always the easier, less productive route) or attempt to explain how her negative attitude was impacting her ability to see past her circumstances. Big words for an 8 year old but believe it or not, she got it. Once she could see that it was actually the way she was viewing things that day that was bringing her down, her attitude changed immensely.
So, she fixed it. She smiled, found positive things to focus on and guess what? Her day got better! It was amazing to watch her figure it all out. Standing around staring out the window focusing on the rain wasn’t going to cheer her up. Building a fort with her little sister however made her laugh really hard. In that moment, she removed herself from the negative and found a positive solution to change her perspective. Now, she can’t make it stop raining but she can change how if effects her in that moment. That’s where the magic is.
Do you ever notice how sometimes when you’re hanging around someone who is constantly negative, you start to feel down or like the energy is being drained from you? I call those people energy vampires! We actually do that to ourselves constantly without even knowing it.
Even as adults, it’s important to remember that no matter what is going on, we always have the ability to rise up beyond the circumstances we’re in. Sometimes it’s something we can fix immediately and other times it’s something that might take a little time.
Obviously, there are some things that happen in life that just plain suck no matter what! In those cases, I try to remind myself that it won’t be like this always and that tomorrow is always a fresh start!
Almost always though, changing our attitude can change the way we view what’s going on around us. It’s not easy but man, is it ever nice once you break the habit of always seeing the glass half empty! Opportunities arise that you couldn’t even have imagined before because now, you’re choosing to look past your circumstances and see them. It’s then that you realize that the possibilities are endless.
What are some things you do to try to change your day around when you find yourself becoming an energy vampire?
I know my daughter would recommend building a fort!