Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Attitude Adjustment Needed?

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” -
 Scott Hamilton

This is a quote to remember and reflect upon.  This quote should be considered by everyone from the small school aged child, to parents like myself, business owners and politicians and well... everyone!  

I made it through my childhood with a neutral to bad attitude, which I feel I was surrounded by.  I remember feeling very negative about many things and I remember not feeling so great about myself.  I often worried about what someone else thought of me and if they liked me or not.  I remember doing things that I might not have felt comfortable doing just for a response or for the attention it brought.  Some days I was a clown, other days I was mean and disrespectful.  I remember my grandma telling me that I needed an major attitude adjustment..  I often wondered what in the world that really meant.

Oh the wisdom of our elders.  If only we would truly hear them and listen to the words.  

I now "am" an elder to my children and what a responsibility it is to teach them to have a good attitude.  I thought that and attitude was a learned behavior.   I thought that by being a positive role model my children would automatically become positive happy children.  I thought...

Today's kids have it so tough.  How do we as parents teach them right from wrong, when there is so much wrong going on in our world and even own communities?  The stress that our children deal with at a much younger age than I did when I was growing up is beyond comprehension.  The internet and all the access these kids have to ungodly issues,  in a sense make these issues acceptable and normal.  They also see BAD ATTITUDES towards everything being voiced in newspapers, on tv, online, in music, everywhere!!!!  How do we.. the "uncool" old parents top the trends of the cool people and what they are doing?

We are raising five children.  All of them beautiful and amazing in their own ways.  Being blessed with identical twin boys who are both non-verbal, have an extra 21st chromosome causing them to have Down Syndrome and dealing with the diagnosis of PDD Autism for them both, I thought I really had an understanding of what a disability really was.  But I think I was wrong.

I did a disability awareness training for a boy scout troop last night.  They had a handsome young fellow who had Down Syndrome in their troop.  I explained what a disability was to them and the first question that I asked the boys was: "Do you know anyone with a disability?" Only half of them raised their hands.  That spoke to me.  The ones that raised their hands were most likely thinking of a family member or had been told that their fellow cub scout had a disability from their parents.  The other boys,  by not raising their hands let me know that this little boy with Down syndrome in their troop was no different than them.  This put a smile on my face.

A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual or group. 

People with physical or mental disabilities often still have positive attitudes.  This makes those of us without limitations wonder .. How?  Why?  Something that I often hear about people with Down Syndrome  specifically is "Oh they are such happy people", and is that a bad thing?  I would rather be known as someone that is always happy than grumpy.  What a compliment that saying truly is.. How do I go about getting such a compliment for myself or for the rest of my family?

A bad attitude is a decision, as is a positive attitude.  A bad attitude is something that consumes ones thoughts and actions, as is a good attitude.  A bad attitude is contagious much like a good attitude is.  How do we as parents teach this?  I am struggling with this.  I pray about this.  I ask God for wisdom on this.. Now I'm asking you my readers, share some of your wisdom and offer some suggestions?  I think I am getting that slap across the face waking me up saying HEY you have a 14 year old!!!!..  You have to be ready and confident to release her into the world to make her own decisions confidently in the very near future.

My husbands response is he thinks we should become Amish to get away from technology, BUT I have read that they too are adopting technology as acceptable to run businesses, which gives them the same access as we all have... its just everywhere!!!!

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