Would you like to see your teenager have a better attitude?

Dear Parents,

Would you like to see your teenager have a better attitude?  I think all of us would answer “yes” depending on the day.

If you have been reading my new blog, you will find that our attitude matters significantly throughout life regardless of our age.  Further, the attitude we show in our homes will be carried to the local middle school and high school hallways, classrooms, and locker rooms. This is a constant lesson that I am learning in our home.  My responsibility to be the “positive attitude example” is huge if I want our children to have positive attitudes with their circumstances.

It makes me so proud as a parent when I see one of our children shine with this type of attitude.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of taking our boys to the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis.  During half-time, we made a visit to the concession stand and Jonathan was very conscious of the prices.  The attitude he exhibited when choosing his food was very humble and selfless.  For a 14 year old to think this way, he had to be trained.  Thanks to Bridget, he has received the necessary training to think about how money is being spent.

I want to encourage you today, your hard work as a parent is worth it.  In the moments when you don’t think you are gaining ground, you are.  In the moments when your child seems to be ignoring you, he/she is listening deeper than you could possibly imagine.  I believe our children want to see proof of what we teach them coming out of our lives.  Yesterday, I saw a proud moment that Jonathan was wearing his mother’s attitude.  That moment, and the others like it, must be celebrated!  It is this type of encouragement that keeps us going as parents.  How would this week be different in our homes if we looked for things to celebrate instead of pointing out the wrongs?

God is always faithful to do his part.  As parents, we ought to be as faithful as possible in doing our part.  One of those parts is to take care of ourselves.  We can never help a person go to a place that we haven’t been.

Philippians 2 displays Jesus’ example of the right attitude.

Here are 2 quick take-aways from Philippians 2 that can help change your attitude in your home this week:

  1. Look to Your Own Interests – This might be a surprise to you, but your interests matter.  I did not say your selfishness matters, there is a difference.  Philippians 2:4 says, “look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others”  This verse assumes you will take care of yourself before you try to take care of your family.  It is not selfish to take care of yourself.  In fact it sets you up to love your family from a position of health.  It is not wise to give your teenager 100% of you, because if you do there is nothing left over.  What can you do this week to take care of yourself in a way that will make you a better parent?
  2. Look to the Interest of Others – It is not wrong to take care of yourself, but it is wrong to take care of only yourself.  Once you have taken care of yourself in a healthy way than you are free to give yourself away in service.  The Midrash taught that no Hebrew, even a slave, could be commanded to wash feet.  But Jesus chose to do that in John 13 to set a standard of what love looks like.  To love is to serve. The attitude of Jesus was to serve others from a position of health.  This example is one that could revolutionize your home.

If your attitude adjusts to look more like Jesus, you might be surprised to see your teenager’s attitude follow that example.

Your Biggest Fan,