Last Updated on January 21, 2021 by Creative Parenting
Today’s parenting tip is short and sweet, it comes courtesy of the good folks at Psychology Today.
We’re going to talk about a concept so cliche to adults that you might forget that you need to explain it to your kids.
What is gratitude?
We’re talking about practicing a habit of gratitude.
What does this even mean?
And how can we apply it to our lives?
One way of thinking of it as a habit is simple;
You make an effort every day to actively practice being grateful in some way.
You can do this in your own life by taking action.
Action = Habit = Gratitude
A recent article in Psychology Today has some awesome tips for how to cultivate gratitude (summarized below).
The idea is to find a variety of simple ways to incorporate the practice of gratitude into your day.
You can can do this by:
- Making gratitude a habit
- Saying “thank you” a lot
- Introduce your kids to a lot of cultures
- Appreciate veterans
- Give to those less fortunate
- Help people in need
- Tell your kids you’re grateful for their kindness
- Help your neighbors and family
- Give your kids time (to learn gratitude)
While this is by no means a comprehensive list, it’s a good start.
And it’s a good reminder of the ways you can make gratitude present in your daily life.
If it seems overwhelming to try and do all of these things, pick one or two. Start implementing them throughout your day and week.
After some time, you might be surprised by the resulting mental shift.
Daily Gratitude Leads To Grateful Living
What we love about this advice is that it takes the whole concept of gratitude from being an abstract concept, to one of concrete action.
Rather than just walking around saying you have a sense of gratitude, you’re actively trying to live it.
And that’s an important lesson:
Not only should you try to teach your kids about wholesome habits like gratitude, but you can also find tangible ways to make them REAL in your children’s lives.
Because the more concrete we can make abstract ideas, the more we’ll see them realized by our children, future generations, and ultimately, the world.
Gratitude Is More Than Repeating It
Most people sit around and spout off aphorisms as if repeating them often enough will somehow make them real in our lives.
They think about having an “attitude of gratitude” as something esoteric that we think about…
…but don’t necessarily take concrete action and steps to make it a reality every day.
Truth of the matter is, if you want to see a posture of gratefulness manifest in your life, you’ve gotta take steps to make it so.
Putting your ideals into practice isn’t just a mental exercise.
It’s a practical one.
And it requires action.
Parents who take steps to model “an attitude of gratitude” through actions will see a positive return on their efforts, but those who only think about it likely won’t see any result at all.
If you’ve only been thinking the whole concept of an “attitude of gratitude” was a thought exercise…
Take some time today to write out two ways tomorrow that you can turn that into a reality.
If you are the type of person who takes action to turn a sense of gratitude into real concrete actions…
Think about how you can do so more often.
Otherwise, you won’t see gratitude expanding in your life.
A Grateful Cup Spills Over
Gratitude spills over from one area of your life to others. If you practice it at home, for example, you’ll feel more grateful at work, and so on.
So everything you can do to see gratitude become a reality in your life.
When you practice gratitude, you become more aware of the things you’ve achieved and the positive things in your life.
When you cultivate this awareness in yourself, it’ll also have a beneficial effect for your kids too.
How Gratitude Rubs Off On Your Kids
In our experience, kids are smart and VERY aware of what’s going on around them.
They look to you, as their parent, to see how you are responding to the ups and downs in life.
They derive their sense of safety and well being from YOU, so if you exude positive energies such as gratitude…
It’ll rub off on them too in positive ways.
So remember to ask yourself (and comment below if you’d like):
How are you practicing gratitude in your life?