Monday, November 30, 2015

8 Tips for Teaching Gratitude

We all want the best for our kids. By teaching our children to be grateful for what they have, we are giving them a gift that will last throughout their lives. Grateful people have been found to be more productive, optimistic, positive, and happy. They are able to develop good relationships, effectively handle stress, and feel an overall sense of well-being. Now, isn't that what every parent wants for their child?

Here are some basic ways for naturally incorporating gratitude into the fabric of your life and family:
  1. First, grow your own sense of gratitude in order to: appreciate life, experience joy, more easily notice the positives, and to set an example for your children. The most powerful teacher is one who can be a role model. Develop a gratitude practice by keeping a gratitude journal, writing grateful letters, taking "I'm thankful for" photos, or by using any method that works for you and helps to grow your gratitude.
  2. Incorporate fun gratitude games and activities into your home and family as a natural way for imparting the gratitude experience.
  3. Include the concept of gratitude in family dinners and discussions. Interject gratitude stories into your family time by sharing personal anecdotes or stories you find in the news or on the internet. Ask your kids questions about people and things they appreciate having in their lives, activities they enjoy, and holidays they are looking forward to and why.
  4. As a family you can create visual reminders in your home to be grateful for what you have. Create a poster, painting, or a sign to hang. Whatever you decide to create, get input from each member of the family.
  5. Freely and openly share your appreciations. Let your kids see and hear you expressing your thankfulness at home and when you are out-and-about.
  6. Consider opportunities for family giving. Find ways to donate your time and energy as a family. Giving to those in need helps reinforce the feeling of having enough and appreciating all that you have. In the meantime, you will be sharing a memorable experience.
  7. Remember to take care of you and your needs. Find things to appreciate about you and make time for the things you love.
  8. And... Make gratitude a habit for you and your family. 
For many specific ideas for making gratitude a part of your life and fostering gratitude in your children, check out Parenting the Gratitude Habit. It's available for purchase at: Amazon

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Week 5 - Favorites: Weekly Gratitude Journal Prompts

Week 5: Favorites

We all have our preferences. When we think of any of our favorites, we inclined to smile or feel good inside. We have developed a relationship, through a history, with our absolute favorite book, music, and flavor of ice cream, for example. When we think of our favorite food, we can practically taste it. When we think of our favorite place, we can see it in our mind's eye or feel what it's like to be there. It becomes quite easy to feel the gratitude we have for our first choice preferences.

This week's daily gratitude prompts encourage us to look at the things of life that put a twinkle in our eye and a smile on our face. There are seven days of journal prompts listed but take the time to appreciate many more of your favorites this week and consider what it is about them that makes you feel grateful. (... favorite color, city, vacation, friend, time of year, sound and scent, day trip, piece of clothing, and the list can go on and on.)

Make sure to create experiences this week with some of your favorites. Work them into your days to have a more joy-filled week.