I am grateful for you.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we all think about those things that we are most grateful for and happily share our thoughts with our loved ones. Why should this be something we reserve only for the forth Thursday in November? Studies show that there are many benefits that come from expressing gratitude and keeping a gratitude attitude all year-along. How then, do we teach this to our kids in a way that will come easy and fun to do?
God gives us life so that we may enjoy it with those who we call family. There are all kinds of families, big and small. This week many people will gather with their family and friends, eat a great meal and make amazing plans as they celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It is my intention for all of your plans to come alive and that everyday you have more reasons to be thankful. The good news is that you get to be grateful any day and everyday of the year. You are given only those things that you can handle with ease and grace. Somehow you are managing those things quite well, believe it or not.
Through ParenTeen Moments, it is my plan to continue to serve my mission of strengthening and transforming over 1 million families. The lessons we learn and apply in our lives, makes this possible. This Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to teach our children, especially teenagers the value of THANKSGIVING; it’s not just another holiday; it represents the essence of giving thanks. Past the Black Friday Sales, there are so many opportunities to spread gratitude in our life every day.
Here are 10 great ways to teach and inspire gratitude in your family.
1) Be a Positive Role Model: As parents, you play an important part in the decisions your children will make. The truth is they are watching what you do more than you think. They are influenced by your actions, even more so than what you tell them. Model gratitude by thanking them and those around you, even for the little things.
2) Write “thank you” Notes: In this era of texting and an overload of social media platforms and apps, encourage your kids to write THANK YOU notes. It can be to their grandparents for cooking an amazing dessert or a teacher for taking time to tutor during lunch, even a friend who picked them up to get to cheer-leading practice. All of these are great reason to express gratitude in a way that really shows they made an extra effort to be thankful.
3) Keep a Gratitude Journal: Gratitude Journals are a great way to keep track of all those small and big things that happen in our life. The truth is that if we take a few minutes everyday to reflect on those things we are grateful for, the Universe provides more reasons to be grateful. This journal and also come in handy on those rainy day when we feel a little blue. Reading back on those great things that happened to us, not only is uplifting but also beneficial to our emotional well-being.
4) Have Them Earn It: To some having your kids earn stuff may sound a little cruel. We want our kids to have all that we can give them. However, word of caution… though many kids understand the value of money. many feel that they should have everything. They tend to forget that in life we must earn the greater things in life. For instance the raise, the better position or the things you want come in part as a result from what we do everyday. Earning it is not an allowance, it is an incentive that they can build on.
5) Encourage Them To Give Back/ Serve Others: It is important to provide opportunities for your kids to serve. If your son or daughter is in High School, there are scholarships that require a certain amount of hours to graduate. This is another reason to find places where they volunteer, such as: the local church a school or another non-profit agency. There is a huge sense of satisfaction that develops when we give back.
6) Encourage Respect for Others: Everyone can appreciate someone that is polite. Rather than getting upset about something beyond our control, stay calm and be respectful. Let your kids know that it is important to utilize those words that we learn since Kindergarten, such as: please, thank you, excuse me, you are welcome. This will set them up for the future, hopefully to land the job they want or the best clients.
7) Create A Mindful Habit: A habit is formed through a consistent behavior. When we add “mindful” to habits it means that we are not just performing on autopilot. Some suggestions are: saying grateful affirmations as soon as they wake up’ ” I am…. Gratitude morning brush. While brushing their teeth they can think of the things they are grateful for everyday.
8) Point Out The Good: It easier to correct the wrong behavior than acknowledging the things you see them doing right. Make it a point to validate their efforts to do the right thing. Not only will they wan to to do more good deeds, they will also increase their confidence in themselves. Remember it is important to keep set boundaries and specific expectations so that they know what you expect from them.
9) Create Grateful Moments: ParenTeen Moments is all about creating great moments. Make more of them, even if all you have are a few minutes a day, make each of them count. Put your phones down and have true conversations, plan a short or long trip together, watch a movie, play a game. It’s up to you, just remember to show how grateful you are for those special moments.
10) Start A New Tradition (Any-day): This is by far, one of my favorite. Everyone gathers as a family and does something on a continuous basis. Whether it’s once a week or once a month think of a special activity you can share together. “Ice-cream Friday.” Monthly Game-night. Any activity is fine as long as you all agree and you keep it fun. These traditions can seem silly but they surely develop reasons to be grateful.
Need a visual on these 10 tips? Click here and watch the slide show I recently shared at one of your parent workshops. Get the details on these tips on my quick video right here.
Wishing you blessings on this Thanksgiving Day. May your heart be filled with everlasting joy. Know that you are always taken care of. If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time or if you simply wish to improve your connection at home with your family (your tweens or teens), book a complimentary call. Click here:.
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Parent Engagement Expert