Family Night: Encouraging Optimism In Your Family

I’ve been noticing a lot of poopie-attitudes in the Wangsgard household, lately. A little cut on a finger can quickly turn into the end of the world! Lack of sleep seems like instant permission to be a major butt. Telling the kids it’s time for chores is like telling them their dog died. The dog that they don’t have, and are utterly depressed that I will never give them, until we live on a hundred acres in Montana, which will likely never happen.  But, I’m optimistic.
Anyway, the air of grumpiness is what inspired this week’s Family Night. It went over horribly. The kids will never learn, I’m doomed to a life of absolute misery and woe. Just kidding, it was great! I’m excited to share it with you…
First off, a reminder…
~ Family Night is a designated night, once a week, where you sit down with your family…have a lesson, an activity, and a treat. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family and teach your children about the MOST important things in life, that they don’t learn in school. ~

Image by alancleaver_2000

Family Night: Encouraging Optimism
Imagine, for a minute, that you have a really bad cold.  You decide to go to a party.  While you’re there you cough all over people, give hugs, sneeze on the food, and drink out of everyone’s cups.  What do you think is going to happen?
Other people are going to catch a cold and feel as yucky as you.
Colds, as well as several other sicknesses are contagious.  Just as a cold is contagious, so is your attitude.  How can that be??
Why wouldn’t you want to be around someone with a bad attitude?  Can you think of a time that you were around someone that was being negative?  How did it make you feel?
The purpose of life is to be tested and bad thing are supposed to happen to us.  Things aren’t always supposed to go our way.  But, it is all because of Heavenly Father’s love for us.  There is no reason to be grumpy when he is showing his love and helping us.
Have you ever been around someone who had obvious trials but still had a good attitude??
There are so many wonderful things about life and so much to be grateful for.  Wonderful things are happening all the time, we just need to tune in and notice them.
Object Lesson:  
 Hand a family member a sucker to suck on or a piece of candy.  Tell them to start eating it while they slip on their shoes.  One of the shoes needs to have a pebble in it.  Have them walk around while they eat their candy.  After a minute, ask them how they are feeling?  Are they happy because they’ve got some yummy goodness in their mouth, or did they totally forget about that?  Is that pebble in their shoe really distracting them and absorbing all of their focus and positive energy?  Discuss.
Lesson (Continued…):
Talk about how being happy really is a choice.  The same bad things can happen to two people and one can be grumpy about it and the other can have a positive attitude.
Sometimes having a positive attitude is best done through practice!
Application Activity:
Cut out some strips of paper and write a situation on them that could lead to possible negativity.  I made up the ones below to suit my family :)  Have the family take turns picking one and reading it.  After it’s read, have them give an example of a bad attitude statement that would go along with their example and then follow up with a positive attitude statement.
You have to go to a party. You’re worried about going because you haven’t made any friends yet.
You get some math homework that looks really hard.
Mom makes a dinner that you’ve never tried before.
You fall off the trampoline and break your leg. You won’t be able to walk for a while.
Your family is going to see a movie that you don’t want to see.
You have to wake up for school and you’re still tired.
You get a zit on your face.
Your basketball team is losing the game.
Your job is to clean the play room and it’s pretty messy.
You lost your most favorite toy.
You hear yet another example of how the government is wasting your money. (I made sure my husband pulled this one from the bag :))

Lesson Conclusion:
What are the benefits of having a good attitude??
People like you
You’re happier
You’re healthier
Your mind can navigate the issues more clearly
You can have the Holy Ghost with you
You accomplish more
Family Project:
To keep this lesson fresh in their minds and to encourage them to practice looking for the good in every day, I introduced a new family project, “Life is Good.”  To read all about how it works, make your way over to Make and Takes where I am featured today.  See you there, and leave me a comment too! :)
What fun is Family Night, without a treat?  It’s the perfect time to whip up some easy and scrumptious Apple Dumplings

Have an awesome day :)
Need more ideas for Family Night??

(You can find even more ideas under the label, “Family Night”)



Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!

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  1. Thanks for sharing. I totally feel like we need to have this lesson at our house. Maybe its the 9 months of straight rain were having over here on the Oregon coast, but I feel like we’ve had a serious case of the grumpies! My plan is to do this for our next FHE. Hope you have a great day.

  2. Ahhh….I miss the Oregon Coast, love it there! Don’t let the rain get you down :) Thanks for the comment!

  3. We reeeeally need this reminder at our house right now! Thanks so much for the great ideas, this will for sure be our next lesson for FHE!

  4. “Like” thanks for the post!

  5. Great FHE idea! Plus love the PW apple dumplings! Excited to try those brownies, they look tasty!

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog through Make and Takes. This post couldn’t be more timely for my family. I feel like I keep saying, you need to be happy for what you have. Well, now we are going to focus on this thanks to you!! Thank you!

  7. That is a great idea. It is hard to teach that to kids in a way that they can understand. So good job! And those brownies look yummy I’ll have to try them:)

  8. Hey Mariel :) I’m excited to use this in our home too:) What a good idea! Thanks :)

  9. Mariel,
    You’re amazing! You have an answer for everything. I’m totally using this idea! So glad we’re related! :)

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