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Cultivate Gratitude

I decided years ago that I wanted to cultivate gratitude and kindness in my children's' daily habits. One simple way that we grow appreciative children is to teach them to look for the good they see every day. In my home, we share our gratitude each day. Often it is at the table while we are eating. It is my family version of “grace.” But it doesn't have to be around the table. Some days it is in the car on the way home from a hard practice or a rough day at school.

When my kids are angry with each other, I typically stop the fuss by directing them to think of three things they are grateful for about the sibling they are fighting with. If you want to try this, I encourage you to keep the three gratitudes rule (you could even make it more). One is not enough, and I am sure you understand why. The first one is usually one to please me, and they don’t think too hard. However, by the third gratitude, they’ve dug a little deeper, and their perspective has shifted. Their big feelings tend to dampen, and love and respect are reborn.

It doesn't have to be dinner. It can be any time of day. The important thing is that you develop a habit of gratitude. This habit is a life skill that will encourage perspective.

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