Next week we dive right into one of the most reflective holiday seasons - hallmarked by a mindset, attitude and behavior towards gratitude (Thanks) and selfless-ness (Giving). No doubt we’re likely preparing our own homes for guests, shopping for the feast and children are learning about the Thanksgiving story. So, how is the spirit of Thanks and Giving in our homes?
The irony of the season is that many families I speak with are often frustrated with their children’s lack of being “grateful” and “thankful”. Many parents come to me irritated, annoyed and even defeated that they have to resort to bribing or rewards to get cooperation, feel like they have to always be doing things for their children because the kids won’t do “it” for themselves, that their child complains of being bored or they can’t seem to go shopping without walking out with a purchase for their child(ren). Familiar?
I ask my parents, “How can you dig deeper to find a solution?” I start with this question to connect the daily practices in our home that foster an attitude and mindset of gratitude and selfless-ness? What are the daily expectations, boundaries and limits we set for our family so that everyone is on board and understands how to be a team - embracing responsibilities that support cooperation, helpfulness and interdependence? Literally, what are the ways we are training the aspects of “thanksgiving” that we value not just this time of year, but all year long ?
I know these are lots of questions, but they are important ones because it is in the subtle daily communication, interaction and dynamics with our children that foster an awareness and recognition of how or what to be thankful for and how or where to be giving. In order to find the opportunity, the lesson or look at the bright side of a challenge, setback or mishap we must first be practiced in noticing all the beauty and good that surrounds us. Our children are no different. A first step in shifting an attitude and mindset of negativity, lack or “not enough-ness” is to practice noticing and verbalizing the positive, abundant and simple beauties of the day-to-day.
Here are some ideas that might resonate with you. Give one a try and commit to using it for a consistent amount of time so that it can begin to take shape in your home. Allow this season of change to propel your family in a new direction:
Enjoy the weekend and upcoming week.
Share your thoughts with me and remember to stay motivated and inspired to PARENT DIFFERENTLY. Your best self and parent is ready for it!