This week we are working with kids on consistency of attitude using the free attitude chart I created. Teaching consistency to kids is just one of the attributes we work on in my character development series.
Working with Kids on Consistency of Attitude
Consistency is the word of the week. I decided to focus on working with kids on consistency of attitude. We have had some major ups and downs when it comes to attitude.
I have to admit that two weeks ago I was crying after soccer games where neither of my girls could pull it together. Sure it was dumping down rain, but it seemed like all of the other kids could make it work.
I was thinking, “I am working so hard on my children’s character and they are the only ones who have the most awful attitudes on the field.”
Discouragement set in.
Sometimes I wonder what in the world I’m doing offering parenting tips and ideas when at moments I feel like I’m just not doing a great job myself.
I have to remind myself that I am doing this blog not because I have all the answers but because I am a student of parenting who wants to work toward solutions.
Reaching out to others for wisdom has been part of the game plan. As I have gained insight, I want to pass along my experiences and ideas for being intentional in parenting.
It’s a journey all of us moms are on, and I need to come to the grips with the fact that my kids will always struggle with sin because they are human.
I shouldn’t feel discouraged when I see the behaviors. There should be rejoicing that I also see strides in their behavior and a lot of glimmers of hope.
This is a marathon not a 50 yard dash.
Too often I let those moments…you know those moments…overshadow the good. I need to work on that. Maybe I need my own attitude chart. Which leads us to today’s activity….
The Attitude Chart that Works on Consistency
The attitude chart was a little self check I came up with where kids can monitor their own attitudes throughout the day.
I made a printable of this attitude chart so you do have to worry about making your own.
One idea is to print out the chart on heavier stock paper and laminate it.
I love having a laminator (not that expensive at all) for just such activities. Then, you could use white board pens to create the daily graph so you don’t need to print out a new one every day.
I think some kids might be more extreme in their mood swings, and I think I might have a couple of those.
The other day I explained to my daughter that she has two different sides. She has my sweet, fun, wonderful girl who is so fun to be around. That is the little girl I see most of the time.
Then, there’s the other side. It’s like a flip is switched and there is suddenly a melt down and major attitude.
I spent a lot of last year trying to figure out what contributes to that flip.
We watched “The Emperor’s New Groove” recently, where one of the characters has a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other.
I have been explaining to my daughter that she has a battle like that going on in her too. She’ll need to decide what team she wants to be on and what kind of person she’d rather be.
I have even begun holding up my two hands as a reminder when she starts to head downhill. She has been physically pushing one hand away to indicate she doesn’t want that ugly human rearing its head. It’s been working for us.
After charting for a few days, we looked at the extremes of going up and down – high, low, high, low. Their behaviors are not achieving consistency in attitude.
The goal is to reside more mild chart where they were able to keep their attitude within the yellow (neutral) and green (good attitude) zone.
I made sure to let my kids know that this doesn’t have anything to do with feeling happy and sad. Those are very healthy emotions that are important for children to learn to feel and express.
In the past, I’ve encouraged them to identify their feelings, label their emotions and verbalize their feelings. Feeling an array of emotions is so important in the development of empathy and overall mental health of children.
This activity, therefore, is addressing when my kids let their outward actions turn to sin. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin.” It doesn’t tell us not to be angry.
The anger, frustration or negative emotions can results in rude talk, slamming doors, uncooperative behavior and treating others poorly. Those behaviors are not acceptable.
Therefore, this chart is attempting to get the kids to recognize major shifts in their outward actions and overall attitude. It will help them self-check and really get a visual picture of the swings that can happen.
After there is a realization of the highs and lows, they can learn to adjust their behaviors to get a more consistently pleasant attitude throughout the day…I hope. 😉
Letting children fill out their own chart gives them ownership.
It also helps them work on fine motor skills while developing and understanding charts.
The goal with this character development series is to be intentional about working on qualities that not only benefit our children and our family but also our world.
Want to Work More on Consistency?
I have many lessons on consistency, and I’ll highlight a few. However, my character development series has 52 traits with at least 7 activities per week. That means you can be working on character development with your kids every single day of the year.
Here are a few of the ideas that work on consistency:
Note: This post was originally written in 2013. It was updated in February of 2019.