Reading is one of my greatest pleasures in life. At any given time I’m usually reading at least three different books; to learn and to grow, to be a better parent, for inspiration, motivation and empowerment and for escape and for fun.

Books, and even articles and stories, are also a great way to inspire more gratitude in your home, and especially for your children.

When we read inspiring books or stories of struggle and perseverance and gratitude it helps us, and our children, to feel more grateful ourselves.

It helps us get out of ourselves and our egos and whatever is going on in our lives, and think of others, their lives and their struggles.IMG_9565

Stories can inspire us. Stories can make us feel grateful for what we have and make us realize that we’re so very fortunate. Stories can make us cry, and laugh, and feel. Stories connect us and make us realize that we’re not alone.

So, this week’s tip for getting happier & more grateful children, and for being happier & more grateful yourself, is to read inspiring stories together.

Here are some suggestions for how to do this:

  1. Pull some inspiring books off your shelf, borrow some from your local library or buy them at the bookstore to have to read over and over again. There are so many books out there that can inspire you and your children to feel grateful and I’ve given you just a few suggestions in the video. Compilations are a great option, like any of Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul series, because you can read one or two stories a night.

  2. Look up articles on the internet. For example, last week there was a story about a cross country runner who carried one of her competitors across the finish line when she was injured. She didn’t know this person, but did it anyway, because it was the right thing to do.  It’s especially good for teens and tweens (and pretty much most children) to read stories of other teenagers or kids doing the right thing, making good choices, inspiring others, making a difference. It shows them that you don’t have to discover the cure for cancer to make a difference. It also let’s them know that taking grateful actions, doing the right thing, being kind to others, etc. is something that is also celebrated, even if it doesn’t lead the news like some celebrity scandal does.

Keep on the lookout and you’ll find more and more to share!

The key here is to share inspiring stories, stories of gratitude and appreciation, and in turn inspire your children to feel more grateful and appreciative themselves.

When there seems to be so much entitlement, negativity and ingratitude everywhere you turn, let’s give our children, and us, some good news that inspires us to be kind and to feel grateful and appreciative no matter what we have!

3.  You can read / share / discuss the stories at dinner, after school, before bed or any other time that works for your family.  Share one a night for a week and see how everyone feels at the end. If you and your kids enjoy doing it, then make it a habit.

Remember, when you start looking for positive and inspiring stories to share, you’ll start finding more and more positive and inspiring stories to share!

IMG_9561That’s it, super simple right? But as always, knowing it, and doing it, are two different things. You have to do this week’s tip if you want the benefit of this week’s tip!

Now it’s your turn, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What books have inspired you in the past or made you feel grateful or appreciative. Also, be sure to come back later this week and let us know what books or stories or articles you and your children used this week to feel more grateful and appreciative and inspired.

If you liked this tip please share it with your mom or dad network and if you want to get these tips delivered to your inbox each week be sure to sign up for email updates at the bottom of the page.

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.

We can have happier and more grateful children.

We can be happier and more grateful ourselves.

We can, and we are, changing the world, one child and one family at a time, starting with our own!

Thanks so much for watching and I’ll see you next time.

Cheri

p.s. Here are a couple of links to articles you might want to share with your children:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/17/allies-wish-celebrating-the-gift-of-giving_n_5824986.html

http://americanprofile.com/category/american-icons/incredible-kids/

Read Malala Yousafzai’s blog / stories for some big inspiration & lessons – every girl in America should feel grateful after reading her story: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-19899540

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