|About the Book|
Seven-year-old Mary is in her backyard playing jump rope with her friends. The girls are talking about their families. Mary tells them, “My dad says I can do anything I want because I try real hard when I do things.” Alice replies, “I’m going to stayMoreSeven-year-old Mary is in her backyard playing jump rope with her friends. The girls are talking about their families. Mary tells them, “My dad says I can do anything I want because I try real hard when I do things.” Alice replies, “I’m going to stay home and be a mommy because my dad says girls are supposed to stay home and take care of their children.” Nancy chimes, “My mom says I’m too fat to be a ballerina and, besides, I have crooked teeth.”Mark is a five-year-old with leukemia who is always smiling and saying hello to people. When asked why he is so happy, Mark replies, “My parents say God loves me, and if God loves me I should always be happy.”These examples illustrate the importance of a child’s attitude. The attitude developed during childhood has a powerful influence in helping to shape how a child will think, feel and behave throughout life.There is plenty of documentation about importance of attitude in shaping the child’s perception of the world. For example, an interesting research study provides a clear and convincing example of the power contained in a youngster’s belief about himself.An elementary schoolteacher told her students at the start of the school year that blue-eyed students are smarter than those with brown eyes are and therefore would get much better grades. At the end of the first marking period, the students with blue eyes had done much better than had the students with brown eyes. The teacher then told the students she made a mistake, that brown-eyed students are actually smarter than blue-eyed students are and therefore would do much better in school. When the next marking period ended, the students with brown eyes had higher grades than those with blue eyes had. As a final part of the experiment, the teacher told her students that eye color had nothing to do with intelligence or achievement in school. At the end of the next marking period, there was no significant difference between the grades of blue-eyed and brown-eyed students.This example illustrates the importance of a child’s attitude. Since the attitude developed by children is critical to their mental, emotional and social development, parents and others who work with young people need to understand how they can help in the development of a healthy attitude.