February is Positive Attitude Month at St. Michael’s
When I first began working with Traits for Success, there was some discussion amongst my colleagues about which month would be best to establish traditions for each trait. September seemed a great month for Organization; December was a shoe-in for Generosity; and May was a great ending point for the summative trait of Responsibility. But when it came to Positive Attitude, it was very clear to me that it had to be February.
Maybe this gives an indication of certain predispositions on my part. I personally view February as “the winter is not over yet” month; as the “I can’t wait for spring” month; as the “when will it stop snowing” month; as the “which island can I dream about travelling to this year” month. So, in my mind at least, February is the perfect time to remind ourselves that having a positive attitude matters.
Scientific research is very clear on the power of positive thinking. A positive attitude opens up the mind to possibilities. Children and adults with positive attitudes tend to be problem solvers who try to improve situations. Positive attitudes are at the core of a “growth mindset” articulated by Stanford psychologist ,Carol Dweck, in her best selling book, Mindset.
Not surprisingly, anecdotal experience confirms the scientific research: Would you rather your child spend a day with a closed and brooding personality or an open and positive?
Building a positive attitude is not about shelling out undue praise or shutting out criticism and failure. Instead, it is about encouraging our children to embrace the possibilities that exist for them.
And besides, in February, if I dream really hard about that sandy beach, it really does help me through the winter.