Recently my husband sent me a link to this article about 10 skills you should practise everyday. The top 2 were Practise Gratitude and Keep a Positive Mindset. This is something we have been focusing on in our family, particularly for my teenage son. It is very easy for him to see the bad and not the good, especially when it comes to school.
A few years ago I read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live fully right where you are, a book about counting your blessings. I have been trying to notice goodness since reading this book and some articles on Ann’s blog. There is so much research that shows that Gratitude is good for us physically, psychologically & socially. This article shows that even just practicing gratitude for 2 weeks can make a difference in teenagers.
So what do we do to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I often ask my son to look for the highs or good things in his day. Often when I ask something like “What was the best thing about school today?”, he will still generally answer “lunch” or “the end of school” but we are trying. I often talk to him about perspective and that if you think things are going to bad then they will be bad and vice versa. Still working on helping him have a positive mindset.
A few times a week after dinner we read a Bible passage using either the YouVersion Bible app or the daily reading from our Church App. We then use Ann’s Joy Dare which I printed a few years ago. Sometimes we use the joy dare for the day or from a few days ago that we might not have done. Now my husband often asks”What are you grateful for, it doesn’t have to be from the joy dare?”. I think after reading the article he sent me he has got it more as well. Then we finish with prayer. There is usually lots of other conversation and going off on tangents during this time but hopefully my family is developing more of an attitude of gratitude. Occasionally, I even remember to write down what I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal.
There are many ways to practice gratitude, I’ve just shared what we do. I also like this idea of taking a photo a day of something you are grateful for. My daughter was given a photo a day journal for her birthday and is trying to take a photo a day to help her record what she has done.
How are you helping your children have an attitude of gratitude?