Choosing the Right Attitude (Dinner Discussions)

"People have moods, you know," announced my younger daughter yesterday as I gently reminded her to choose a better attitude.

"Yep, they do," I thought, "and you are certainly in one."

We're working hard on attitude around here, and what I've discovered in the process is that our attitude is a choice. We can choose to let negative emotions take precedence or we can choose to not let our circumstances dictate our mood.

Poor attitudes come from discontent. Anger, jealousy and frustration all have their roots in discontentment. And being discontent is a choice.

Paul says in Philippians 4:11 says "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." If Paul learned it then contentment must be a choice we can make, and when we learn to be content, we choose to change our attitude.

Kids tend to be ruled by emotion, some kids more than others. It's our job as parents to teach our kids to choose to have a good attitude, no matter the circumstances. That doesn't mean our kids stick their heads in the sand and ignore circumstances that are dangerous or hurtful. It simply means that their attitude isn't based on the circumstances. It's based on the joy we have in Jesus.

I won't lie. That's a tough thing to teach our kids. It's a tough thing to learn ourselves. We're struggling with it right now.

What I do know, though, is that cultivating a thankful heart and helping our kids to focus on all that God has done for them will change hearts, which will change attitudes. We're going to focus on thankful hearts next month, but this month's dinner discussions focus on helping your kids build altars.

When God did something great for the Israelites, they built an altar (usually just a pile of stones), so they could remember it. This month, there is only one dinner discussion question, "What did you see God do today?" I encourage you to either keep a journal, write your kids' answers on paper stones and tape them to the wall or get a bunch of real stones and build your own altar to remind your family of all that God has done this month.

Before you start this month's dinner discussions, explain the concept of an altar to your kids. Explain that the reason to build an altar is to remember what God has done. Talk about how you're going to build your own altar this month so you can see all that God is doing and remember the reasons we have to be joyful.

Take pictures of the altars you build; I'd love to see them at the end of the month. I'd also love to hear the stories of how this activity works in the hearts of your kids.

Linking up today with Denise in Bloom.

Kristy Westrate is the winner of the Teach Me To Serve e-book giveaway. Look for your e-book in your inbox soon. Congratulations, Kristy!