I am not great at acknowledging the things I’m grateful for, I am not one who will naturally look to the bright side. As I’ve gotten older I have gotten better (thank goodness) at looking at things I have and pay a lot less attention to the things I don’t have. My mom had a saying she had cross stitched, framed and hung in her bedroom. It said: “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.” I saw that “work of art” every day of my childhood; I even made fun of it. I admit I even made fun of it as I got older. But now, I have an appreciation for this quote. I don’t believe my mom was a good example of showing gratitude but the quote won out as I achieved maturity. I still have a tendency to look on the dark side but it is a lot easier for me to see the sunny side of life when I think about what I DO have. This has prompted me to look into teaching gratitude to our children, and this is what I found:
- You need to express gratitude; be an example
- Say thank you to the teachers, babysitters, and all the people that do something that we benefit from
- Start a discussion on gratitude and possibly implement some kind of tradition in your family routine where gratitude is expressed
- Flip complaints to positives, for example: I don’t have as many dolls as my friend; to, aren’t you lucky that you have a friend that is willing to share her dolls with you
- Volunteer and have your children volunteer with you. Whether it be for a homeless organization or giving back to the outdoors by planting trees or trail maintenance volunteering is a great way to show our children the flip side of life. Psychologist Dana Klisanin suggests volunteering to cure what ails your ungrateful child
- Don’t just give your children what they want when they want it. Decide what they can get for themselves, and assist them in their goal for achieving their desire.
There are plenty of other activities that you can do with your family but the most important object of this article is: Teaching gratitude to your children will give them a more positive outlook on life.
- Happiness In Gratitude (blarouche.wordpress.com)
- Start Expressing Your Gratitude Every Day (harounkola.com)
- Cultivating an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ at Thanksgiving, and All Year Long (theparentingexpert.wordpress.com)
- 12 Points of Gratitude (berry20nice.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Gratitude (jeannetakenaka.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude – The Key To True Happiness: Living Gratitude Series (everydaygyaan.com)
- Gratitude: It’s Not About Being Happy, It’s What Makes You Happy (middlesage.com)