Written by single parenting contributor Crystal Hadidian.
One of my favorite things about parenting is the challenge to communicate big ideas to a young mind. It isn’t just their limited vocabulary that requires you to get creative.
I just wrote a children’s book based on an experience with my son where using a super hero metaphor proved surprisingly effective. As you can see in the cover image above, it’s called Grey and the Good Attitude Cape.
Let me tell you the full story. Recently, I was in an exceptionally rough season of life with a lot of major transitions. My son and I were both feeling the effects. New apartment, new job, new schedule.
These life events are challenging for any family, and as a single parent, I was incredibly overwhelmed. My son was experiencing the stress of an inconsistent schedule between mommy’s house, helpful friend’s houses, and daddy’s house, and most of his toys were still in boxes.
Neither of us were sleeping well and we were both disappointed about not getting enough quality time together. The (at the time) three year old and his mommy were cranky.
I was floundering, trying to find a way to not only set a good example, despite exhaustion, but to also explain in words to a three year old that you can choose to be nice and thankful, even when things are hard.
I wanted to communicate that having a positive attitude is a choice. It doesn’t mean that you pretend you’re not disappointed or tired. It doesn’t mean that wanting more time to play with mommy is a bad thing.
It just means, that even when you can’t have what you want or need, you can still choose to use nice words when you ask for more milk or help with your shoes.
And just as important, when you realize you’re not having a good attitude, you can stop and change it. As I say in the book, “it takes strength to be kind even when you’re frustrated.”