Attitude sets the stage

Long ago, I thought that everyone had attitudes so I was a bit puzzled to hear someone describing "so and so" as "having an attitude." Only one? I have attitudes about many things. After meeting "so and so," I discovered they meant a general nega...

Long ago, I thought that everyone had attitudes so I was a bit puzzled to hear someone describing “so and so” as “having an attitude.”

Only one?

I have attitudes about many things. After meeting “so and so,” I discovered they meant a general negative attitude. “So and so” had a negative attitude about many things. They seemed to feel their role in life was to critically evaluate and express their opinion about any number of things. You may have met such an individual while having a positive attitude, but their comments became a downer. The day darkened a bit after hearing their litany of dislikes.

I believe it behooves us to develop a positive attitude. After Patricia J. Luder’s positive comments recently in a letter to the Superior Telegram, I decided to follow up on her comments. She cited the importance of preparing children before they enter school and throughout. Parents play the most vital role in helping their children develop positive attitudes for school and later for life’s work.

Qualities most important for success in life are:


Sense of responsibility.



Teamwork and enthusiasm.

When employers are asked where a job applicant developed their attitudes, they often mention school.

School experiences are a factor, but in my opinion, parents are No. 1. I cited some important ones for parents when I was a school superintendent in Montana.

Do children get up in the morning after first call without reminders, pleading and haranguing. This should be standard operating procedure.

Do children have assigned responsibilities to do without parental micromanaging. Parents, in the very beginning, shut off the TV and texting on cell phones and direct the process. They shouldn’t allow themselves to become a continuing enabling crutch.


Do children carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities? Carelessness should not be permitted to become habit. School work could fall into this category and should not be hastily, sloppily done. Parents shouldn’t allow exceptions to occur until the habit becomes fixed.

Do children carry out their responsibilities without whining and complaining? All of us do have negative thoughts, but we have to learn to express them at appropriate times.

Children learn most attitudes during their very young formative years. School can assist in changing some faulty attitudes, some of the time, but they can’t correct All negative attitudes with all deficient students all the time. This is especially true these days with financial cutbacks and class sizes growing questionably large.

My personal attitude is that we all should attempt to develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for the many, many items of good luck we have received. We stand on the shoulders of all previous generations who developed so many of the helpful things in our lives. They were given to us. They make things much easier and better for us. They did the hard work to make them possible for us. Lucky we were; thankful we should be. More positive we will be with that attitude.

Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at .


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