Don’t Confuse Having A Positive Attitude With This — Part 1

When my kids disobey, I reprimand them. If they make a mistake, I correct them—in love, of course. How about you?

I’m sure you do the same.

For example, if your kids were to jump on the kitchen table when you’ve explicitly told them not to do so, they would be in trouble—as they should. If they were to come back home past their curfew with no valid reason, they would be in trouble—as they should. If they lied to you, they would get in trouble—again, as they should.

If your children accused you of having a “negative attitude” because you reprimanded them for their bad behavior, you would be out of yourself and they would be in even more trouble—as they should (for using an unfair accusation as manipulation tactic).

That we reprimand our kids for their bad behaviors doesn’t mean we have a negative attitude.

Educating and correcting our kids is part of our responsibility as parents, and failing to correct them would be irresponsible. Allowing kids to do whatever they want, under the umbrella of being positive, would be dangerous for them, let alone wrong.

Don’t confuse having a positive attitude with being lax and permissive. Having a positive attitude doesn’t require that you ignore the wrongs of others. It doesn’t mean letting everything go, allowing people do and say whatever they want without consequences.

Accountability for one’s actions and decisions isn’t a matter of attitude. Thus, people should be held accountable for what they say or do.

If someone breaks into your house, they must bear the consequences of their infractions. If they vandalize your car, they should pay accordingly. That you have a positive attitude doesn’t mean you leave them off the hook.

If you intentionally trip someone in soccer, you’ll get a red card (i.e. you’ll be kicked out of the game). The referee’s attitude isn’t at cause here. You can’t claim he has a negative attitude because he gave you the red card you deserve. These are the rules and there are consequences to breaking them.

The world is governed by laws, and when you break them, you suffer the consequences. And this has nothing to do with one’s attitude.

Having a positive attitude doesn’t insulate anyone from bearing the consequences of their actions. If they touch fire, they get burnt—and a positive attitude won’t shield them.

Sometimes, people want to make you believe that, if you hold them accountable for their actions, you’re being negative (i.e. that you have a negative attitude). Don’t fall for this.

Cultivating a positive attitude doesn’t require that you stop holding people accountable for their actions and decisions. Attitude doesn’t squash accountability and responsibility.