Saturday, May 14, 2011

Making gratitude a part of your family

Living a life that resonates with gratitude
is challenging for most adults. Now how about
we throw in teaching gratitude effectively
to our children on a daily basis? Impossible?

As you may have guessed already "impossible
is nothing, imagination is everything!"
The first step in this process is to emulate
gratitude yourself, first and foremost.
Our behavior shapes the attitudes and habits
of our children and it is critical that
they witness parents practicing ways of
being that resonate with gratitude.

I have found that keeping it light and fun
is one of the best ways to teach children
core beliefs that are infused with abundant
When my daughter is in a receptive mood
(not when she is absorbed with drawing,
homework or any other activity), I ask
her to tell me one thing that she is
grateful for today. I then have
my turn and give her an example of
something that I am grateful for today.

There is no wrong answer. Whatever
your child feels thankful for in that
moment (his stuffed animal, the cookies
he had for desert, his favorite cartoon,
etc.) is perfect, as he is beginning to
understand the idea of being happy with
something he has experienced or received.

Practice this on a daily basis and you
will see that your child will start
asking you what you are grateful for.
It is important not to be preachy about
this - preaching falls on deaf ears.
The key is to make it fun and interesting
and to get your child to think about gratitude.
This process will take years to develop into
a deep seated way of being, but by beginning
early on, you are planting the seeds that
will develop into powerful positive practices
that will help your child to attract positive
energy into her life.
Gratitude is one of the most important
components of attracting positive energy
into your life. It clears away the cobwebs
that complaining leaves behind and opens
up a space for creating extraordinary
possibility and change.
Children are very receptive and open to
gratitude when they feel it coming from
their parents in a genuine manner.
If you happen to be going for a walk
in the park one day with your child,
for example, take your time to really
notice all that is going on around you
in the moment and feel gratitude for

a simple, beautiful day.
Any time you can bring yourself fully
into the moment and appreciate the joy
in what you are doing, simply express
it with gratitude in front of your child.
Your child is watching and learning.
Teach her that there are not only endless
things butwonderful feelings to be
grateful for.
Practice saying things like,
"I feel so lucky that...",
"I am so happy and grateful for...",
"It is so wonderful that we can..."

You will begin to notice your child
mimicking your behavior. Don't become
frustrated if this doesn't happen overnight.
be patient and know that the message is
getting across. Allow your child the
space to process gratitude without
pushing or controlling.
To inspire a belief system is infinitely
more effective then demanding one into being.
Respect your child's scope of understanding
and his unique way of learning as he creates
his own masterpiece.
With love and light,
Melinda Asztalos

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