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Attitude Is Everything:  Encouraging a Positive Attitude in a Negative World

A wise man once observed that "your attitude will determine your altitude."  In other words, how you look at the world will influence how far you go in it.  As we prepare our teens to go out into the world, a positive attitude is one the best tools we can give them.  But in a world that resonates with negativity, creating that tool and passing it on can be a real challenge.

The first step in this, like in most things with teens, is to check out your own attitude.  What do your kids hear when you talk about your day at work, or the clerk at the store?  To the greatest extent possible, keep your talk in front of your teen positive.  If you need to blow off steam, talk to your spouse or best friend when your kids aren't around to hear.

Next, make your home a positive environment.  Play positive music, encourage those around you with sincere compliments, and try to keep a smile on your face.  It's also nice to include upbeat sayings or artwork in your decor.  Help your home to be a haven of happy in a sea of sad.  Avoid having people in the home who bring everyone down, even if it is your mother-in-law.

Finally, encourage your teen to keep his own outlook positive, or keep it to himself.  Require that your instructions not just be obeyed, but be obeyed with a positive attitude.  There is nothing wrong with asking someone who is in a bad mood, whether it be a teen or another adult in the home, to be unhappy somewhere else.  While this may seem harsh on the surface, part of growing into a mature adult is to learn to keep at least some of your problems and manners to yourself.

We'll teach you how to #LiveTo100!

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