Michael Malgeri AttitudeIf I had one mission in life, which I don’t because I wander aimlessly among events that WOMP me upside the head, it would be to nurture a positive attitude in our children. My parents had it, I try to have it, and although my wife does her best to hide it, I see it every day in her beautiful green eyes.

Our daughter is easy to coach in these matters because as a young woman, she’s reasoning and accountable…what? I have no jokes to add here 🙂 …seriously, she’s quite the young contemplator. Our son, on the other hand, is a challenge. Among the spectrum of idiosyncrasies that accompanies his affliction is the “Awwwww mannnn do I HAVE TO!!!!!!” syndrome. He was born in 1998, so it’s not an exaggeration to say his grumpiness spans two centuries.

Case in point:

“Dad, I’m not sure if I have track practice today, what should I do?”

“Does he think I lurk around his high school all day?” I thought. “Buddy, how am I supposed to know? Just dress normal today and take your workout clothes.”

“Awwww mannnn, then I gotta carry them around all day!!!!!”

“Your choice buddy. You wanna get kicked off the team?”


“OK, so have a better attitude about it and just take your stuff.”

Now here’s where spectrum disorder #67 compels him to retort with his own lecture. “But Dad! It’s natural be upset when you have to carry something extra around all day.”

I was about to go valley girl on him and say, “DUHHHHH??!! LOCKER??!!” but kept it serious. “Maybe. But do you want to allow it ruin your day?”

“No.” I could see he was starting to think.

“Your attitude is how your react to every situation. When you can’t change the facts you can change your attitude to make things better. Do you understand that it’s your choice? That it’s under YOUR control?”

He sort of did and walked away one step closer to adulthood…where we totally abandon this approach and rely on narcotics…just kidding. We do this a hundred times a week with him and sometimes it feels like we’re pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks through a lake of thick sludge. But we’ll get there no matter how muddy the journey. After all, it’s all about attitude 🙂

By the way, I was just kidding on the “wander aimlessly” thing. See ya next time!


Authored by: Michael Malgeri

Michael lives in Redondo Beach with his wonderful wife and their beautiful children, the stars of "On Dad's Watch." He makes a living in the software industry and pursues writing in between fun family events. Along with "On Dad's Watch," Michael believes there's a need to teach young people about the morality and practicality of Capitalism as well as provide them with an alternative perspective on environmental issues. His books on these topics can be found at

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