Here is one thing you need if you want to teach your children to be more grateful, and to be more grateful yourself . . .

This week’s parenting tip for busy moms and dads for bringing more gratitude and happiness into your life, into your children’s lives and into your home is all about setting expectations and having the right mindset.

A lot of parents don’t even start or try to teach their kids to be more grateful because they think their kids won’t be grateful or there is no way they will be grateful and appreciative all of the time.

Or they do start, they use tools, tips, ideas and strategies and make some progress. They think “if I just do these things my kids are going to be so grateful and appreciative.”

But then after a few days or weeks or months, when their kids aren’t perfectly grateful and appreciative all of the time, they say ‘this doesn’t work’ and they give up.

I totally get this and experienced it first hand a few years back after I had breast cancer and was on a mission to pass everything I had learned about gratitude onto my children. Be sure to watch the video to find out the mistake I made and how you can avoid it!

But here’s the thing, we know, as moms, as parents, that there is no quick fix to anything and nothing is going to fix all of our ‘parenting problems’ or our kids!

We don’t expect our six year olds who are learning basic math facts to be doing calculus the next day.

We don’t expect our three year olds to learn the alphabet and be reading college level books the next day.

Gratitude is no different – like any other skill they learn, and make no mistake, gratitude is a skill, it’s slow and steady over time, building and growing and learning and improving.Realistic Expectations Image

While at times we may think we want perfectly behaved and grateful children all of the time, we don’t really want Stepford Children anymore than our husbands want Stepford Wives (although I’m sure it sounds good to them too now and then!).

What we do want is more grateful children.

What we would love is to be more grateful ourselves.

This is possible!

If you do nothing and you give up or you don’t even start to teach your children to be more grateful, then you aren’t going to be more grateful and neither are your kids. If you’re relying on society, or schools, or the internet or reality tv to make your kids more grateful, you’re likely to get the opposite of grateful and appreciative kids!

But if you slow and steady, plant seeds with different tips tools and ideas, expect small changes in their gratitude and happiness and happiness, that’s what we’re going for.

“Slow and steady wins the parenting race and the gratitude race!”

– Cheri Fogarty

We have to recognize today and in the future what success really is when teaching our children to be more grateful. Success is living each and every day a little more in gratitude and happiness, which is a whole lot better than not living in gratitude and happiness and all!

How to apply it this tip:

1. Be aware, pay attention, shape your thoughts – don’t expect your kids to be perfectly grateful and appreciative of what you or others do, ever. Do expect them to be more grateful and appreciative as you implement more tips, tools, and ideas.

2.  Pick a tool to use this week to practice having realistic expectations. For example, do a Dinnertime Discussions at dinner or before bed: Ask what three things were good about today? How did you show your gratitude to other today?

As you use this or another tool, make sure that you’re thoughts, expectations, and mindset are set for success!

Remember what success is when teaching our kids to be more grateful.

It will help you start if you haven’t started already and it will help you keep going when the going gets touch which it always does with kids and in our busy lives.

So set your expectations for what success is for you and for your children this week, make sure your expectations are realistic and start paying attention and noticing success when you see it!

I hope this tip has served you and now it’s your turn:

In the comments below, please let me know what you think of this tip

1.  Before watching this video what were you expectations for teaching your kids to be more grateful? How long did you think it would take? Did you think if you taught them how to be more grateful that they would be grateful and appreciative all of the time or did you have more realistic expectations?

2.  After watching this video now what are you expectations for you and for your children when it comes to learning to be more grateful – in the ‘real world’ we busy moms live in?!

As always, if you liked this tip, please share it with your mom or dad network so we can all get happier and more grateful children; and be sure to catch all of our free weekly parenting tips for busy moms (and dads) by signing up for email updates.

Thanks for being a mom (or dad) and for everything you do each and every day to be the best one you can be, including teaching your children to be more grateful!

DSC_0496We can have happier and more grateful children.

We can be happier and more grateful ourselves.

We can change 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!


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