As a parent, I believe that one of the most important jobs in your kid's lives is to be a positive influence.  Children see how their parents act and replicate the behavior.  It is amazing just to people watch.  When you see kids misbehaving, it is often a result of the upbringing that they had as a child.

Family and friends can also be a positive influence in the lives of children.  Who ever surrounds the life of your kid's influences they way they act.  Sometimes it is impossible to control everyone that is in in the life of your child.  When you send your kids to school, their peers and teachers influence them.  For this reason, our family decided to send our children to a private Christian school.  Having been raised in the public school system myself, I saw first hand how negative influences changed the attitudes of children.  I am not saying that public schools are all bad.  What I like about the Christian school alternative is that Jesus is integrated into the curriculum.

When we integrate Jesus into everything we do, we are surrounding our selves with a positive influence.  There is no greater person to model ourselves after than Jesus.  Jesus came to this world and was crucified after living a sinless life.

Philippians 2:14-15 NASB Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

Being a positive influence to others.

My grandmother was the most positive person in my life.  No matter how bad of a day she was having, she always had positive words of wisdom to give me as a child.  She always looked for the best in people even if the individual was not that kind.  See, being a positive influence is about an attitude.  If you want to affect someone's life positively, you can't do it if you have a bad attitude.  My grandmother must have figured that out along time ago.  I can't remember her ever getting mad.

You know what.  When I was having a bad day and needed cheering up, I could always count on my grandma.  Even if I were mad at someone, she would always find a positive way to change my attitude.  It truly is amazing when someone is positive enough to get you out of your bad attitude.  I remember asking my grandmother why she was happy all of the time.  She told me she was happy because she had Jesus.  Hearing her answer was enough for me.  I finally found out her secret.

My grandmother passed away ten years ago.  When I am having a bad day, all I have to do is think about my grandma, and it puts me in a better mood.