From M is for Mindful, written by Robin L. Flanigan and illustrated by Heather S. Jones. Used with permission.


Participants will be able to:

  • think about their own writing and art, and identify the negative thoughts that may hold them back
  • consider turning their negative thoughts into positives
  • develop ideas that can help them think more positively
  • create a list on paper, in a journal or on a poster that will serve as a reminder of actions that can create a more positive attitude

Target Audience

Children, ages 6-18, as well as adults!

Supplies Needed

  • Paper, journal or large paper for poster
  • Pencil or pen
  • Optional: colored pencils, markers, crayons or paints if creating a poster

Attitude Lesson

When I create art, it’s like solving a puzzle or problem — I need to work out the best solution. Will it be perfect? No. To me, perfection is boring. With a positive attitude, I know I can learn from experimenting and from making mistakes in my work.

The same goes for writing. When I start writing a poem or essay, I first just throw words onto my paper: ideas, phrases, resources, experiences — anything that I connect to my theme. From those chicken scratches, as I call them, I develop my written piece. At that point, I’m ready to write, revise, edit, write some more, revise, edit…repeating this process until I’m satisfied.

But what about when I’m ready to share my work of art or writing with others? It sure can be scary. Negative thoughts and questions swim through my mind:

  • What if people don’t like it?
  • What if someone gives me a negative critique?
  • What if people laugh at it?
  • What if it’s not good enough?

Now, what if I turn those negative thoughts and questions around and make them more positive? If I change my attitude, I can rephrase them, and voila!…

  • Instead of it being scary, it could be exciting! 
  • What if people like it?
  • What if someone points out what they like about it?
  • What if it makes someone laugh or cry or brings up a good memory?
  • What if I know I tried my best and what I’m sharing represents the best of me?
  • What if I inspire someone else to create?
  • What if I inspire someone else to think positively?

The grace of a positive attitude may take some time to acquire, especially when you’re in the midst of negative thinking.

Here are some ideas that can help us all to think more positively:

  • Do a physical activity: walk, run, garden, clean a room.
  • Say something kind to someone. Or do something kind for someone. Not only will you boost their attitude, but you’ll feel great, too!
  • Help someone, whether it’s through volunteering somewhere or helping a friend or neighbor.
  • Sit quietly outside and observe. What do you hear? Feel? Smell? See?
  • Spend time in nature.
  • Spend quality time with a pet.
  • Read a book you really enjoy.
  • Work in the garden or in a flower pot. Get your hands dirty in the soil. Plant a seed and keep watch through the coming weeks as it grows and flourishes.
  • Practice yoga or meditation…or just simply stretch!
  • Take deep breaths and say something positive to yourself as you breathe in. Exhale out the negative thoughts.

What else can you do? Make your very own list and keep it in your notebook or make an Attitude Poster. You can even decorate it, and I’ll bet you’ll feel all the better once you’ve finished.

Remember, there will always be negatives in life. People may do things you don’t like or say things that hurt. You’ll make mistakes and you might even say some things that you wish you hadn’t. As long as we recognize these as lessons and learn from them, we can become better and gain the grace of a positive attitude.


Here are some wonderful quotations I’ve found, which will help boost your positive attitude:

Keep your face always toward the sunshine — and shadows will fall behind you.

Walt Whitman

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.

Winston Churchill

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. 

Abraham Lincoln

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Roald Dahl

End Notes

This lesson in Attitude follows along with the book M is for Mindful, by Robin L. Flanigan. You can see my video Read Aloud with Barbara of this wonderful book here.

Image courtesy of Mindful kids Thrive.

Thank you to our friends at Mindful kids Thrive, for sharing their book and giving us permission to create lessons around this beautiful collection of writing and art.

If you’d like to learn more about Mindful kids Thrive, visit their website at