A Simple Way to Teach Our Children About Gratitude

Chad Riddersen

Posted on July 19 2012

I was talking to a good friend of mine who said she "lost it" one afternoon and told her  4-year-old to "shut up."  Before I became a parent myself, I may have judged her or thought, "how could she?"  BUT after having children, I now know that parenting can bring out the best and worst in us.  As a mom, I have my glory days when everything seems to fall into place, I have a smile on my face, the kids are happy and well-rested, and I feel like super mom.  Then there are those days where I'm throwing random food into their lunch bags as we run out the door, piles of dirty laundry are strewn about the house, and all I hear is whining.  How many of you agree with me when I say that parenting has redefined the notion of being pushed to the limit?

I have to admit, I am a bit of a control freak, and I'm pretty certain that's why I had such a hard time adjusting to motherhood in the beginning.  Sleep deprivation coupled with uncertainty and the unknown was not a good combo for me.  All these things became stressors and when I am stressed, my body responds with an eczema flare up.

One time my eczema was so bad, and I was so sick of treating it with steroid creams that I resorted to seeing a hypnotist.  I can't say that it did much for me, but one exercise she suggested that I want to revisit and practice with my daughters is keeping a gratitude journal.  The hypnotherapist gave me a small notebook and pen to keep by my bed and every night, before going to bed, I would jot down 3 things I was grateful for.  The thinking behind this simple exercise is that you go to sleep with positive thoughts in your mind.  How great would it be to do this with our children?  As rough as some days can be, what better way to end the day than by being grateful and teaching our children that there is so much to be grateful for each and every day!

On a side note, congratulations to ABC's Shark Tank, for being nominated for an Emmy!  Maybe one day soon, we can say we were on an Emmy nominated show!

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