Teaching Gratitude

I spent the day trying to convince Manchild that there was merit to doing things that he didn’t want to do, that he would be better for having done them, and that maybe, just maybe, there was a bright side to life. And now my head feels a little bit like I’ve been hitting it against a wall. I’m a little dazed, a little confused, and a little bit wondering why I’m here or why I thought I could do this. Be a mom and all. Teach my children and stuff.

This is especially demoralizing because next week I’m speaking to a group of ladies about teaching your children gratitude. Ha! I can tell you that it’s not going to happen by having them write, “I will be grateful” over and over and over and over until they are so frustrated they scribble all over the page and sulk on the couch. That’s for sure.

(Okay, it didn’t happen exactly like that, but close.)

This “gratitude” thing is something I’ve been thinking a lot about because 1. I’ll be speaking to a group of ladies about it next week and 2. I think it is important. Very important. I have my own ideas about how this can be done, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about developing gratitude. And teaching your children to cultivate it, too.

Do you strive to live in Thanksgiving daily? Do you have overt conversations about it? Do you think about the example you are setting and hope the kids are noticing? Do you tell them children are starving in Africa, so they should be grateful for that pile of greens on their plate? Do you have special activities around the holidays to promote gratitude? Do you  . . . what do you do? Or what did your parents do?

Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. My ears are listening. I’m grateful for any insights you have.

(And if you are one of the lovely ladies I’ll be talking to next week . . . I hope we’re able to muddle through this together. Somehow. I’m looking forward to it.)

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2 Comments

  1. First and foremost: Elsa looks adorable.
    Second, I had a conversation today with an older lady at work about happiness and how it is a choice. Choosing to give thanks instead of choosing to throw a tantrum is one way to choose happiness. Also, one thing I do when I find my “thanks” giving lessening, is to give a thanks prayer. One night where I don’t ask for anything for myself or for anyone else. I just thank Heavenly Father for specific blessings. Anyway, I don’t have children, so I’m not sure this is very informative, but maybe saying gratitude prayers with children could help instill that trait.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    Of course she does. 🙂

    And I like that reminder to take the time to think beforehand of what you have to be grateful for that day.

    [Reply]

  2. I’ve always liked the idea that a sign of a grateful person is they are happy. I think our being positive and truly happy will rub off on our children.

    [Reply]

    lizzie Reply:

    This is true, and I think will be at the heart of the message I share next week. Thanks!

    [Reply]

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