From the time a young girl starts to fantasize about her wedding day she also fantasizes about her family. How many children does she want, will they be boys or girls? She pretends to be a “Mom” starting with baby dolls or teddy bears practicing feeding, diaper changing and rocking them to sleep.
We as parents have found ourselves babysitting those pretend grandchildren by showing our children how to do each chore to our standards. We usually teach our children what we have learned or how we were raised because it is instinctual – monkey see, monkey do. We may change the things that we did not agree with or use skills we learned by reading books.
We know that what our children learn growing up is what we teach them either by our actions or our words. We teach them what is safe and unsafe, teach them respect, love, and responsibility and even hate and anger. Yet in all the time that we have these precious gifts from God, are we teaching them to be grateful?
Our goal is to raise happy children, which gratitude plays a huge role in – whether someone is truly happy. According to Berkely’s Greater Good Center in 2006, psychologists Nansook Park and Christopher Peterson conducted an analysis of parents’ descriptions of their children’s strengths—and found that gratitude had the strongest relationship to life satisfaction.
The study reinforced that since children want to be like their parents that parents who stepped up and modeled kindness and gratitude provided the road map for the children to grow up with more loving attitudes.
Spending time with your kids and being mindful of your behavior and actions will reflect in how your children behave. TIME = LOVE when molding these beautiful beings that absorb their environment like little sponges.
Learning your child’s love language and speaking to them in their love language will make it easier to teach them gratitude in a way that they will understand it.
From the moment you know that you will be bringing a new life into this world, whisper words of gratitude to your new wonderful being. Write a note of hope and gratitude each day for your excitement and love for this wonderful gift and place it in your Grateful Box. Inhale love and exhale gratitude.