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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Parenting Tips: Thanks Giving #1--- Modeling Gratitude

Happy November!  All kids have things for which to be grateful.  Sometimes they delight us with their enthusiasm. [I still remember the Christmas my four-year-old jumped up and down, gleefully saying, "Just what I ALways wanted!"...after every single present!!]

Gratitude doesn't always come as easily.  This November month I have decided to spend each Thursday Parenting Tip on ways to help children develop and maintain gratitude. Today... providing role models of noticing and expressing gratitude.

Our children need to see us celebrate goodness, appreciate kindnesses, and model those behaviors in front of them. Started early, children can develop the habit of noticing goodness, voicing appreciation, and celebrating good fortune.  As teenagers, it is easy to fall into the "my-life-stinks"-syndrome.  With bullying ever present adolescents can quickly develop an awareness of all the negative around them and almost blind to the positives.  They need our help to stay aware and grateful for the goodness around them. They need to hear us say how much we are warmed and comforted and uplifted by people who say "Thank You," who express appreciation, who show gratitude.

Let's try an experiment.  From now until next Thursday's post, let's everyone who reads this make a conscious effort to surround our children with gratitude in all forms, non-verbal, physical, written, pictures, hugs, smiles, words, everything we can. Gratitude that they see us express, see us experience, that they receive, etc. Every way that we can for one week.  Then next week we'll move them forward a different way. Working our way through the month of Thanksgiving we can try teaching the ACT of thanks-giving and the blessings of thanks giving rather than the history of Thanksgiving. By Thanksgiving Thursday let's see what wonderful changes and new understandings we may help create. Join me?

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