Gratitude Is THE Attitude
Each time a child wakes up on their own in the morning, they usually have a level of zest that is undeniable. That particular level of energy they start their day off with, enables them to springboard themselves onto what they believe is going to be a wonderful day. Like anyone, they may experience situations that counter that feeling of excitement. The goal, however, is to ensure that children are equipped with tools and skills to bring them right back to that level of joy they initially experienced.
Over the last ten years, it has become mainstream knowledge that being grateful has powerful impacts. Yet despite this knowledge, so many of us do not utilize it on a daily basis. What is worse, is we often forget to arm our children with this knowledge, so they themselves can reap the benefits.
Take a moment to think back to your last thanksgiving dinner. Before eating, did you participate in the long-standing tradition of saying something you are thankful for? You might have said “I am grateful for…” When you and everyone else with you did this, how did you feel? If nothing else, how did you feel when YOU said what you were thankful for? The likelihood is that you felt good in that moment. If that feeling lasted for a long time or a short time, it does not matter. What matters is that it was there. That right there is the making of a powerful tool.
Gratitude is defined by Oxford Languages as “the quality of being thankful.” When your child is able to possess this quality within themselves, they are going to experience a lot more of the positive feelings rather than the negative ones. The good news is that your child can be grateful at any moment. They do not need an external event to generate the feelings of gratitude.
Feeling Grateful In The Now
While we as adults might have a difficult time feeling grateful in the present moment, children are surprisingly good at it. While they might not know to do this consciously, they will be able to do so when prompted.
Every morning that you are getting ready to eat breakfast, make that day’s lunch, or getting your child dressed, you can easily prompt them to feel good. Asking the children what are they grateful for in the moment can help achieve this goal. This time of day is great, because your child will have many things to be grateful for. The food they are eating, the clothes they are wearing, their relationship with you, the friends they are about to see at school, or even the weather outside. This is helping them get back onto that same positive springboard they were on when they woke up!
Gratitude In The Tough Moments
Feeling grateful when your child is feeling good might seem pretty easy, but you likely will be faced with the question, “how am I supposed to be grateful when something bad is happening?” It is a very valid question, and important for your child to truly learn how to utilize gratitude. The good news is everyone is different so there are many ways. You and your child can try different ways until you find which one(s) work best for you. There is a good chance that you will eventually have multiple ways to feel grateful.
One method is to get your child to think of their favorite song. Once they start singing it or even humming it in their mind, they will shift their focus onto the song. That song, in turn, makes your child start to feel good. Right then and there your child can think of all the things they are grateful for. Before they know it they will have shifted their focus onto something that is positive and start feeling good again. As a result, that negative experience around them will become a lot less prevalent, until it is no longer present.
Another method would be for your child to step away from the situation and begin to go over the basic things they are grateful for in their life, irrespective of what is happening. They can sit down and write a few things they are grateful for, or they can go over it in their minds. Regardless, this will allow them to regain their sense of calm and be composed. They will then be in a much better mindset to address the negative situation.
There are a lot of methods to feel grateful, it doesn’t matter which methods your child uses, so long as they use them. The Power Up Your Magic program by OH-KS has lots of great methods if you are looking for a place to start.
Rachna Patel is the founder of OH-KS Corporation, a company that creates one-of-a-kind programs and materials, to help children ultimately become happy, healthy, confident, have a strong growth mindset, and so much more. To learn more about their latest products, you can visit their website at www.OH-KS.com