I find the act of standing on my doorstep and clapping every Thursday evening hugely moving. While day-to-day it’s easy to take the people around us that keep our lives on the straight-and-narrow for granted, I’ve had enough run-ins with health scares, bins overflowing and community support to know how vital all those roles are to keep our lives on track.
However last week I realised that my son does not yet quite have the same perspective I do on these things. Halfway through beating a pan with a spoon he turned to me to ask why we were doing this again. It made me realise that we only develop true gratitude if we are able to take a bit of time over the things we should be grateful for, and while as adults that can be easy to do our kids need help figuring it out.
So on the theme of gratitude:
Aren’t we lucky to have this time to spend with our kids to help them realise how to be more self-aware and to learn to be grateful?
Here’s what I’m going to do about it. After tonight’s celebration, we’re going to take a moment to notice the things we have to be grateful for, and rather than just saying “yay, thanks”, we’re actually going to take a moment to think about why we should be thankful for them. And then we are going to give ourselves a moment to feel grateful. This won’t be silent; we’ll have a conversation about it.
Gratitude is about more than a polite “thank you” when you get something, it requires taking time to connect mentally and emotionally with the gift you’ve been given, and kids don’t do that if we don’t help them figure out how to do it.
I hope to hear you out there tonight,
Want more information about why this approach works to foster greater gratitude in kids? See this article for more insights: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_parents_neglect_to_teach_about_gratitude