Emergency Attitude

Stifle your own judgmental or critical comments. It's okay for parents to be teachers and guides, but that doesn't give you a license to condemn your kids' activities, trash their choice of friends, or dismiss their opinions. So stop making those sarcastic comments, critical observations, and barbed remarks. This kind of negative attitude can quickly become a household epidemic. Remember that quick and nasty judgments can sting and really cause emotional damage.You're the model for demonstrating constructive criticism, so start tuning into what you're saying so you can model and pass on a less judgmental attitude right away.

"Books suck.""You're a dummy.""She needs a brain transplant." Judgmental kids tend to find only the inadequacies in themselves and others, and put everything and everyone down. Beneath their judgmental attitudes can be arrogance, a feeling of inadequacy, hostility, anger, or resentment.They are hypercritical and enormously frustrating, and can turn almost any event into "not fun" for one and all.Although negative attitudes used to be confined to the middle school set, even younger kids are now adopting them and can be part of the Big Brat Factor.

Make no mistake: this attitude is also rude and self-centered. That's because judgmental kids don't usually care how their criticism affects others. They are concerned only about their sense of superiority or inferiority, and their opinions, and they make sure everyone knows.

Keep in mind that kids aren't born critical: research clearly shows this attitude is learned.And today's culture bombards our youth with negative messages. Need evidence? Tune into popular musical lyrics, and notice how often you hear criticism and despair. Eavesdrop on kids' conversations, and count the number of negative comments you hear. Listen to TV sitcoms and hear the steady onslaught of put-downs. Is it any wonder that many kids are negative?

Granted, changing negative ways isn't easy, but left unchecked, this attitude will seep slowly and steadily into every arena of kids' lives and often serves to derail them from developing solid character. Judgmental attitudes are contagious and can spread quickly throughout your household.What your child needs is to replace these bad attitudes with the virtues of tolerance, fairness, and compassion. The time to start this attitude makeover is now!

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