The Director's Cut!
Can you believe it’s already November? As we prepare for the upcoming holidays, it’s nice to stop and take a moment to reflect. November is National Month of Gratitude. Gratitude gives us the ability to shift our focus from the negative to appreciating what is positive in our lives. Research has shown that gratitude can enhance our moods, decrease stress, and improve our overall well-being. Expressing gratitude creates positive emotions, which only make us happier, and can even reduce feelings of envy and jealousy.
There are lots of ways you can incorporate gratitude with your children. Teaching manners is a good starting point. Saying “please” and “thank-you” convey a sense of respect for other people and are teachable at almost any age. You can also make expressing gratitude in your home a daily ritual. This can be done by something as simple as taking turns at dinner to talk about at least one good thing that happened during your day, or starting your day by stating one thing you will do to help someone else.
One of the single most important things you can do to teach gratitude to your children is to model gratitude yourself. It is crucial for us, not only as parents but as adults in general, to model for our children the importance of treating people with respect. Also, be a grateful parent! When we tell our children what makes them special to us, their self-esteem is boosted for the right reasons-- not because they have the latest and greatest toy or game.
Lastly, remember to find the silver lining. While it can be challenging at times to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, we can help our children “look on the bright side” by refocusing them on the positives that they may be overlooking rather than dwelling on the negatives. Here’s a fun perspective on gratitude that is guaranteed to make you smile!
Randa Jones: Family Services Coordinator