How do you deal with discovering your family, or someone in your family, has slipped into a habit of grumbling and complaining? One of life’s greatest quotes and lessons comes from the movie, Bambi, when Thumper’s mother asks him what his father told him that morning: “If ya can’t say somethin’ nice…don’t say nothin’ at all”. This is a great motto for families to adopt and maintain in regards to attitude.

Everyone struggles with slipping into a negative mood at times. Every age, personality type and gender hit spots in life that cause grumbling and complaining. As a family we need to be accountable to one another with our attitudes. No one knows us better or loves us more than our family. Sometimes we need a boost or restart to inspire a family attitude adjustment. I have seen families adopt a constant reminder, such as a bracelet everyone wears, that brings to mind every time it is noticed to cease complaining. Your creativity could go wild with ideas to make this attitude adjustment fun for your family.

I also encourage you to consider if there is media overload going on in your home when you sense complaining has increased. If news is constantly ringing through your house, that could be a cause of attitude issues. We noticed some electronic games caused negative attitudes in our home. Limits should be set for electronic input in your home…including and especially in the kiddo bedrooms. Don’t allow the television to constantly ring through the house. If this is a habit, try a week with limits and see how attitudes improve.

And, once again, we as parents must lead out by good example in the quest against grumbling and complaining. Monkey see, monkey do!

Philippians 2:14 (NIV)

14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.