Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Outward Appearances

My daughter asked me this morning how she can prove to me she has improved her attitude. You see, I had to exact a certain punishment for some mouthiness and noticing that I have had to do so numerous times in the past two days, I decided the punishment was in effect indefinitely until I could see her attitude improved. (that brought on quite the scowl!) We discussed how she needs to stop blurting out whatever complaint is on her mind and strive to be more positive.

But, how will Mom know she kept the negative thought to herself? (she and I already agree I cannot read minds, generally speaking) I pondered her excellent question for a moment before explaining that the only way I can tell her attitude is appropriate is through her voice and body language. Her responses to me and her expression have to be pleasant, and she should appear peaceful if not outwardly joyful. Easier said than done, of course, as we all struggle with self-control on a regular basis.

And yet, how many times do I internally remind myself that I am doing this motherhood thing for all the right reasons and yet not externally prove that to the people around me? My mind is constantly racing with many things throughout the day, and so my expression is often anything but pleasant while my attitude may be positive (or at least neutral). Once again, the Lord uses my children to teach me.

After all, it has become a habit for me to deliberately force a relaxed smile once my little guy has fallen asleep in my arms before putting him down, because that simple smile relaxes my entire body and increases the likelihood that he will stay asleep once his body touches the mattress! So, I guess that in order to receive a pleasant attitude from my daughter, I should force a few more of those smiles.

Per my own advice, my inner disposition is only proven by my outward appearance, and something tells me that a little more effort on my part will radiate to my little girl and make it easier for her to grow in virtue. Win-win! (Duh, Mom!)

Take notice of the impression you make on others with your body language today and see what attitude you convey.


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