What’s your kid’s attitude?

THE Relationship Blog

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As parents, we spend so much time worrying if our kids are eating right, sleeping enough, socializing enough, studying enough, playing enough and whatever else enough that we often forget to ask them how they are. We have found that there are many factors to raising happy kids. But the foundation to their happiness along with familial stability has to be attitude. That’s right! Soccer, basket weaving, Mandarin and sushi rolling classes are great but they will not tip the scales on whether little Jedediah is happy or not. Little Persimmon will survive without her native spear fishing class taught by a real Maori native. But ultimately, their attitude will define everything for them.

We moved a few months ago from Miami to Los Angeles (we repeat ourselves for those new to the blog or those with short term memory loss). Our move included 3 children ages 18, 7 and 4 and two dogs. The 18 year old went off to college and we are down to us and the two boys (and the two dogs, lest we forget). The boys have transitioned really well. They have adapted to their new environment, adjusted to new schools and seem really happy. As their parents, we are ever watchful for signs of grief or anxiety due to new surroundings. We haven’t seen any signs. On the contrary! Even our daughter is flourishing in school and she has Asperger’s! So what is the secret to this seamless transition? ATTITUDE!

Many people are raised to view change as something scary. They judge change to arise out of negative things. Problems, events, issues and situations are judged as personal attacks on your tender stability. This attitude towards change is one of fear and stuckness. There is nothing scarier than being stuck, however some people thrive in it. They think it’s the cat’s meow to be the same person year after year. However, throw a little issue into their lives and what you find is that attitude keeps them in a never ending cycle of grief, pain and re-injury.

Our kids don’t think that way. Their attitude towards life is one of adventure, risk taking and savoring the different. Introducing new things to kids is difficult on a good day but nearly impossible when a child is on the spectrum. Our daughter, however, loves change and welcomes it. Yes, she does become very anxious before the transition but she is able to jump in with both feet when a change is presented to her. Our sons are the same in that they have seen this move as an opportunity; an opportunity that we discussed for over a year and presented all of this as an adventure to remember.

We know we aren’t the best parents but we do make up for our parental misgivings by having a great attitude towards life. We can secretly be cynical and bitchy but our kids see us as partners in the treacherous and exciting waters of this adventure. We are the swarthy, unstable captains and they are the toothless shipmates who do all the grunt work. Come on, you didn’t think an adventure would be hard work for you, did you?

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