A few months ago, my middle son had started to come home from school with a list of negative things that had occurred through out the day. Each day the list seemed to grow until I could no longer bear to listen to his Eeyore-ish accounts. My son was becoming a carper of everyone and everything. When the new year began, I instituted a moratorium on the play-by- play of all of the activities and events that he counted as infractions against a good day. I gave him the task of looking for 5 good things each day-only 5- and reporting back to me. I promised I would do the same, as I had found myself succumbing to bouts of sustained complaining. Before bed, we would share our new findings and record them in a notebook. He admitted that it was difficult at first to seek out good points. But, it is amazing how shifting your perspective- looking for the positive, however small (even in a huge dung pile of negatives) can change your mood, your attitude, your outlook on life. You actually feel a little bit lighter, brighter, more aware. Everything cannot always be silver linings and rainbows; but, I am hoping to at least help him develop the recognition that alerts him when he is sliding into Crotchety Orneryville and give him the strength to back right on out of there.
Speaking of rainbows and crotchety kids- writing this reminded me of this picture from a trip to Niagara Falls a few years back. I was about to snap his picture when mist got in his eyes. He bent over and a rainbow magically shot out of his head ;-)