Day 5 in the platitude series. I like these platitudes because they cross the line. They cross the line between being fluffy and being meaningful. They cross the line between being about improving us as parents, and improving our kids as well. So listen and decide for yourself.
Today we talk about gratitude. I’ll try to keep it light here and not dive too deep into meditation and all.
But in the article I’ve linked in the show notes, They “discuss the powerful benefits of keeping a gratitude journal. And the really good news is it works for children too. In one example, Dr. Robert Emmons, of UC Davis, asked teenage students to keep a gratitude journal – over ten weeks, the young undergrads listed five things that had happened in the past week which they were grateful for. The results were astoundingly powerful – the students who kept the gratitude journal were up to 25% happier, more optimistic about their future, and got sick less often during the controlled study. They even got more exercise than usual. The bottom line is that children who keep a gratitude journal are statistically happier, more optimistic, and healthier. As soon as your child is old enough, help them start one.”
And at this age, maybe we don’t have them journal. I mean my kids’ rainbows are still a bit squiggly, let alone letters. But we can ask. We can lead by example.
One way to lead by example is to startup a conversation with your significant other over dinner tonight. Just you and them. As if your kid isn’t there. And ask each other what you’re grateful for. And there’s probably a 50/50 chance that your kid jumps into the conversation.
One way to ask your child, not at the dining table, is to ask them what they can’t live without. What would you be sad about if it left the house. And when they say, “I’d be sad if the dog left” then you can say, “yes, I’m grateful that we have a dog too, and we should treat her well to show her we’re grateful”.