Thursday, November 3, 2016

3 Important and Easy Ways to Foster Gratitude in Your Family

By Guest Blogger Angela Woodrow:

It is November….  a month to give pause and reflect on gratitude and gratefulness.

The dictionary defines the adjective ‘grateful’ as, “…feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful”.
The dictionary defines the noun ‘gratitude’ as, “…the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”.

Practicing Gratitude and Gratefulness is an art and science. These are terms that get tossed around a lot. Fine-Tuned Families strives to give you useful tools and tips to help you parent smarter. So let’s break this down to thoughtful, useful nuggets to chew on:

The art is the practicing of the attribute; infusing it daily in to our lives meaningfully - not by automation.  The science is to know and recognize the action and to apply the action with thoughtful intention.

That is the theory behind how to Parent Smarter and live life by your design.  In our hearts and minds, we want our families to know and show gratitude. We want our families to be able to recognize and practice gratefulness.

Cultivating Gratefulness and Gratitude is a daily practice that, if forgotten or left to ‘automation’, grows weak or even worse, disappears.
Could you and your family increase your awareness and practice of gratitude and gratefulness this month? Think about this:  It only takes 3 weeks to make a new habit.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all ‘upped’ our gratitude quotient and began the New Year with a higher level of ‘gratitude competency’?
Here are three simple ways to increase your meaningful and intentional gratitude/gratefulness practice this month.  May it be a practice that continues with you and your family throughout the years to come!

1. Say ‘Thank You’…in complete sentences.
This is an important skill and element to ensure the practice is not an ‘empty habit’.
“Thank you for opening the door for me.”
“Thank you for bringing me my backpack, Mom.”
“Mark- thank you for picking up the extra ingredients at the grocery store today.”

Ask you family to make the effort to say ‘Thank you’ in complete sentences…watch and listen for the difference it makes.

2. Have a ‘Do Good Day’.
Target chores around the house the kids can earn money doing. The money they earn on that day goes to ‘sharing something with others’ - donating earned money to a food bank or homeless shelter or to another local community nonprofit.  Is money tight right now?  It does not have to be big or grandiose…the ‘Do Good Day‘ is meant to be sincere. Why not clean up and clear out the toys and books your kids have out grown and donate them to the local homeless shelter?

3. List out 5 things you appreciate or are grateful for each day.
The list can build on a sheet of paper taped to the wall. If you have one of those chalkboard walls allow your artists to record and decorate! Some families keep a gratitude journal. If life is really pulling you in 50 directions, post it notes made in the car that can be posted where all the family wash hands or hang coats is a great way to get started acknowledging your gratefulness!

Happy November, Happy Thanksgiving!  We wish you a Happy Fine-Tuned Family Journey!

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