Embracing an ATTITUDE of GRATITUDE in our adult lives is key to truly FLOURISHING. Fulfillment, positive relationships, confidence, compassion and purpose are all attracted into our lives when we practice the habit of being grateful. Dr. Caron Goode in Teaching our Children the Joy of Being Grateful states that, “Grateful people are happier, more resilient, and less depressed. These results prove that gratitude is more than polite manners and positive thinking. It is a way of life, and a wonderful legacy to leave our children.”
It all sounds so EASY. Just another element of model parenting we need to be “worried” about.
Guess I should have been more GRATEFUL when my partner AGAIN soaked the pan from dinner instead of washing it because, and I quote, “They really needed the time in the water.”
The pressure is on.
Sometimes it’s HARD to be grateful when the frustrating twist and turns of daily life seemingly smother our best intentions.
All too often we are visited by the GREMLINS–negative focused thoughts born out of frustration, a sense of lack of control, over commitments, minimal valued personal time and the deep rooted belief systems that completely UNDERMINE our ability to FEEL grateful.
It’s pretty easy for the majority of us to be HAPPY and GRACIOUS when times are good. When we are getting what we want and feeling satisfied and uplifted as a result.
But how do you react when things go awry? When you are disappointed? When you are hurt, angry or rejected? It is in these moments, the difficult ones, when we need to SHINE our light of gratitude. To own the experience, learn from it and move forward.
No doubt. It takes practice….here are some tips for beating the GREMLINS and experiencing GRATITUDE:
1. DO IT DAILY
While enjoying the first sip of your hot latte, soaking in the bath or driving to work pick a ritualistic time DAILY to think of one thing you are grateful for. Gratitude is a mind-set, a positive perspective, that with practice will become a life-altering habit!
Around the dinner table take turns voicing today’s GRATITUDE THOUGHT. It is always surprising, and equally insightful, what our children are grateful for
2. WRITE IT, SAY IT, SHOW IT
Start a JOURNAL. If you find that difficult write ongoing letters to your kids that speak to all the wonderful things about them and your lives. Be sure to include the lessons you have learned from ALL your experiences. An amazing 16th Birthday present!
Share with others why you are grateful for who they are and the special place they hold in your life. Kids and adults LOVE to be honored this way.
3. Be Grateful for the DIFFICULT Times
It’s completely human to get frustrated, angry and sad. Kids of all ages are intimately connected to our moods and body language. With age appropriate language communicate with your children how you are feeling, why you are feeling this way, what you have learned and how you plan on moving forward. Number three in this list is by far the most important technique you can employ in beating out the GREMLINS & modeling GRATITUDE in the family.
Children who practice gratitude tend to become kinder, more appreciative, more enthusiastic and just generally happier. Adults and parents who practice gratitude tend to experience the same!
Bye bye GREMLINS. Hello GRATITUDE. Enjoy the JOURNEY.