Did your parents instill a sense of gratefulness in you? If so, how? Did they place the same value on possessions and privileges that you do? Did they encourage you to value the spiritual things of life, such as the importance of love and relationships? Have you incorporated any of their attitudes in your parenting? If so, which ones? Which attitudes, if any, would you like to start using with your children? Write them.
Next, reflect on your current attitude. Here are a few questions to help you think about how well you are modeling gratitude to your kids. Check any that might need to change:
How well and how often do you model gratitude:
□ To your spouse for helping you, expressing appreciation, loving, working hard, or treating you kindly
□ To your kids for a job well done, or for everyday behaviors such as coming to the table on time, finishing chores without reminders, waiting patiently, being courteous, or conveying gratefulness
□ To the waiter at the restaurant for providing good service
□ To the grocery worker for bagging your groceries or helping you carry them to your car
□ To the other driver for giving you the right of way or waiting patiently while you park
□ To the babysitter for watching your children and keeping them safe
□ To a stranger for holding the door open for you, holding your space in line, or helping you in some random act of kindness
□ To yourself for your countless blessings such as your health, family, friends, home, or spirituality
The best way our kids learn gratitude is by seeing others display appreciation and gratitude in those everyday, unplanned moments. Those examples are ones they are most likely to copy. For instance, how often do your kids see you convey your appreciation with hugs, words, or small notes to others for their kindnesses bestowed on you or your loved ones? Even more important, how often do you tell your kids how much you appreciate them? Think of one simple way you could be a better example of gratitude to your children.Write how you will use it within the next twenty-four hours to tune up the attitude.
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