An Attitude of Gratitude
With the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to reflect on how to celebrate gratitude. For so many years, it has been about giving thanks. But, along with being thankful comes being grateful. I'd like to practice having an attitude of gratitude.
There is that saying - grateful, thankful, blessed. I’ve noticed that my daughter is not always as grateful as I think she should be. Sometimes it’s the, “oh thanks…but I really wanted this instead” attitude. I was taught to be grateful for what I was given and respond in a positive way for a gift that I was given.
I’ve been thinking more about being grateful.
What is gratitude? Gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness and joy we feel in response to something we have received, whether the gift is tangible, such as a book, or intangible, such as a smile from someone, or even a breathtaking view of a beautiful landscape.
Yesterday, as I was driving back from enjoying an outing out with my daughter and I experienced gratitude. It was the beauty of the area that I live in. The grapevines on the side of the road had turned the beautiful colors of fall - red, oranges, and yellows. I admired the view and felt a warm feeling in my heart. Speaking of that feeling, I many time say, “that warms my heart.” Honestly, I never knew, until now, that heart warming feeling was a feeling of gratitude.
I want to teach my daughter to be more grateful this holiday season. And, at the same time, I want to reflect in this positive way.
Here’s some tips on how to practice an attitude of gratitude with your children.
- Say please and thank you
- Give to others
- Take the time to let someone know you are thankful for them and how much they mean to you
- Do something nice for someone, just because
- Look for awe inspiring moments in your day
- Reflect on what you are grateful for
- Compliment others
- Give someone a gift
- Take gratitude walks
- Being thankful for what you have
- Be a model of gratitude for your child and those around you
As a multitalented parent (my kinder way of saying busy), I know there’s a lot to focus on with your children. We all want to raise polite, kind, empathetic, compassionate…the list can go on, children. For where I am at in my life, I want to practice more gratitude with my daughter. This holiday season is a great way for me to teach her about being grateful.
The list above really has some ideas for me to think about this season. I’ve always wanted to teach my child that there are people less fortunate that she is. I think learning this would really open her eyes more to the world. Plus, it warms my heart when I can help some.
My daughter and I have been walking more before dinner. I’d love to incorporate gratitude into our walks. We actually went on a gratitude walk on Thanksgiving. During our walk, we reflected on what we are grateful for. It was really nice to open our eyes to what was around us and take in the beauty of the day.
For Christmas, I’d also like us to give gifts to people just because they are special to us, not because we think we’ll get something back from them. I remember this one being tough for my daughter. She’d say, “Mom, why do we need to get them a gift? They haven’t given us anything.” It’s the whole, “you don’t give gifts to get something in return” thing.
There is so much going on in our lives. It’s great for us to stop to acknowledge what we have and it’s a special time to share our experiences with those around us.
I’m really looking forward to being a model of gratefulness this holiday season and sharing this virtue. The great Roman philosopher Cicero says, “gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues, but the parents of all others.”