For your children to become the best people they can be, with a spirit of optimism and compassion, learn how to teach them gratitude.
The first rule of teaching gratitude is to practice it yourself.
If you don’t know how to practice gratitude, or if you aren’t sure what gratitude is, then keep reading.
What is gratitude?
Gratitude is an attitude of the heart and not just what is said out loud. Gratitude is about thankfulness and appreciation, and to be genuine, your emotions, your thoughts, and your inner spirit must feel grateful and thankful when you express these sentiments out loud.
Sometimes, however, we just don’t feel like giving thanks. Yet, as grownups, we do it anyway.
“Do it afraid,” because without fear there would be no need for courage is a saying that seems just right. So, even if you don’t feel grateful at first, communicate gratitude out loud until you begin to feel it inside.
The Upward Spiral of Positive Emotion
Once you begin expressing gratitude, you not only start feeling it, but it also continues to grow. And the best part is that gratitude cancels out negative feelings such as:
· Low Self-esteem
You will become addicted to gratitude once you begin practicing it consistently.
Lift Your Spirits with Gratitude
Don’t be upset if you haven’t expressed thanks for some time. Guilt makes you feel worse, and the whole point is to feel better. Reminders are great. Sometimes you hear or read about gratitude, like you are right now, and realize that you are missing something.
Maybe you have a bad feeling in your soul because you messed up by procrastinating. But there’s another part of you that says, “I should just begin again.” Listen to the angel on your shoulder and begin again! If in the future you forget, and then remember, just pick up where you left off.
Start a gratitude journal, and write down five things for which you are grateful each day, even if it’s just the beautiful orange summer flowers you see on the side of the road. Whatever you write down, speak it out loud as well, and speak in front of your children. Let them mimic your words.
The Gratitude Holiday
Yes, there is a holiday for gratitude! Thanksgiving! This is a great learning opportunity if both you and your children make Thanksgiving a big deal.
Do this by:
· Decorating more
· Cooking an extravagant meal
· Inviting family and friends to share the day with you
Let your children help you. Teach them the history of Thanksgiving and what it means to express thanks.
Teach the Whole Family
Get the whole family together and have everyone give thanks, even for their trials and tribulations.
Everyone in the home influences the children, from the older brother, to the aunt, uncle, and cousins, to friends of the family. If you teach everyone around you about the importance of gratitude and how it increases positive energy, then children will pick up on this.
You can then say that you have finally learned how to teach your child gratitude, and be so grateful that you did!
Being grateful for gratitude is the highest form of expressing this joyful and life-giving emotion!
Source: Erica L. Fener, Ph.D., vice president, business development strategy and analysis at Progressus Therapy, a leader in connecting their candidates with school-based therapy and early intervention jobs.
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