Thanksgiving is just a few days behind us but already the rush to Christmas/Holiday giving has begun.
This year, before your children (or you!) make your Christmas or Holiday Wish List, take a few minutes and make a “Gratitude List” first.
Why we’re having our children do this, and how exactly to do it, is this week’s tip for busy moms and dads for getting happier & more grateful children and being happier & more grateful themselves!
First, How to Do it:
Have your children take a piece of paper or a notebook, and a pen, or pencil or marker, and have them stand in the middle of their bedroom. Have them slowly turn in a circle and just look around their room and take everything in. Now, have them start writing down everything they see in the room that they’re grateful for. Have them open their closets and drawers and see what’s inside that they’re grateful for. Don’t forget about a comfy bed to sleep in and the room itself, whether shared or not!
This only has to take 5 to 10 minutes but it can take longer if they want.
That’s it, but if they want to expand their Gratitude List, head to other rooms in the house, and have them take stock of what they’re grateful for there too.
Remember to make your own Gratitude List because if you want your children to ‘practice what you preach’ you have to ‘practice what you preach’ – plus it’s good for you too!
Note: Keep the lists handy because you and your children will be using them next week!
Each night this week have your children look at their Gratitude Lists and pick one thing off of the list that is super important, special, meaningful or that they just really appreciate and are grateful for, and then have them think about why it’s so special or meaningful. This will help them (and you when you do it too!) understand why certain things are important or meaningful to them as opposed to just a long laundry list of ‘things’ they are grateful for.
Why make a “Gratitude List” before making your Christmas/Holiday “Wish List”:
Making a Gratitude List helps you and your children focus your thoughts and awareness on all that you have to be grateful for, before you ask for more. If you appreciate and are grateful for what you already have, then everything you get is that much sweeter – and hopefully appreciated!
Taking this small amount of time in the the midst of all of the craziness, to focus on what you have to be grateful for, versus justing thinking about all of the things that you want, is good for you and good for your children.
Also, as they make their Wish Lists (we’ll take a look at these next week), keeping everything they already have in the back of their minds is a helpful reminder of what’s most important, what they really love and appreciate.
Finally, because they’ve given some thought to why certain things are meaningful or important to them, this will also (hopefully!) be in the back of their minds as they make their Wish Lists.
That’s it, super simple, right? Remember though that knowing it, and doing it, are two different things. If you want the benefit of the tip this week, you and your children have to do the tip this week!
Thanks so much for being here, for being a mom or dad, and for everything you do each and every day to be the best one you can be!
Remember, we can have happier and more grateful children. We can be happier and more grateful ourselves; and we can and we are changing the world, one child and one family at a time, starting with our own.
I’ll see you next time,