Do you ever feel like your children take something you do for granted? Or maybe everything you do for granted?!

Well, then this week’s tip for busy families for getting happier & grateful children is for you!

Taking things for granted is human nature; we all do this. Living in this country, in this time, no matter what your circumstance, we all have more than ever before, our children have more than ever before. Yet, people are less grateful and far less happy.

While this may be human nature, it’s also our job to address it, to make a conscious effort to be more grateful and to teach our children to be more grateful too, and that’s why you’re here and what this is all about!

So we’re going to pick one life skill this week – I’m calling it a “Life Skills Challenge” – whether it’s laundry, making breakfast, packing a lunch, making a bed, doing the dishes, cleaning, whatever it may be; a life skill that your kids need to know because when you send them off to college some day they’re going to need to know these things!  They’re going to need to know how to take care of themselves, to cook, to do laundry and everything else that goes into being an independent person and being responsible for oneself!

Responsibility Quote Card Van Buren copyNot only will this build their self-esteem, because they will be and feel independent and capable (and self-esteem comes from within, not from external praise or the like) but it will help them feel more grateful because they’ll learn all that goes in to that particular life skill.

For example, if your kids take all of the laundry you do for them for granted, and most do, when they actually do their own laundry, from start to finish, they’ll see that there is a lot of time and effort that goes into it day in and day out, week in and week out, because they’ll have actually done it!

So, be sure to watch the video and then get the step-by-step (super simple!!) directions below:

Step 1

Pick a life skill that can serve them, that they can help you, and that will help them feel more grateful (something they currently are taking for granted)

Step 2

Teach them to do it

Step 3

Have them do it

When you do this you may get some grumbling and complaining but that’s okay because you’re teaching them a life skill that they need and you’re helping them to be more grateful (actually another super important life & happiness skill).

It’s ok because that’s how kids learn best, by doing it. Telling them to be grateful for the laundry or anything else isn’t going to work. We’ve all tried this, over and over again, haven’t we?!

But when they do it for themselves, when they see the time and effort that goes into it, they’ll understand it a little better and hopefully feel  more grateful, even if they won’t admit it right away!

Also, don’t expect them to be completely grateful and in awe of everything you do, this isn’t how kids work. But if they’re a little more grateful and appreciative, that’s a whole lot better than not being grateful at all.

Remember, it’s slow and steady, you’re planting the seeds of gratitude and it takes time to grow grateful children.Quote Card Responsibility 3

This is also a great tip to continue on and add a new life skill each week. These are skills they need to have anyway, so you may as well start teaching them now, building their self-esteem, getting a little help and teaching them to be more grateful and appreciative!

That’s it, I hope this tip has served you and now it’s your turn. In the comments below, tell us which life skill you are going to have your children work on this week. You can have them all work on the same life skill or you can pick a different one based on the child, their age, and what you think would serve them best.

Be sure to come back at the end of the week and let us know how it went and also to give the community any tips, ideas or anything else you discovered along the way that could serve others!

As always, remember that knowing it and doing it are two very different things. If you want the benefit of this tip this week, you have to actually do it!

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. It’s an awful lot, believe me I know, but hopefully this week you’ll get a little help from your kids!

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 watch and I’ll see you next time!

Cheri

p.s. If you want to see this idea in action, and how I’ve been using it for years now, check out a “Dear Girls” I wrote in their journal a few years back: http://cherifogarty.com/portfolio-items/dear-girls-why-taking-responsibility-is-good-for-you/

DSCN7280 2The #1 things I have found, that if they do themselves, that they are so much more grateful for, is their laundry. Now, if and when I ever do it for them, they are SO grateful and appreciative!! That’s just my children, but for us, it was a turning point . . .

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