Every parent wants the best for their children. Ideally, every parent wants their children to be happy, healthy and grateful. As a matter of fact, research indicates that modern families classify “gratitude as one of the traits of a healthy family.
It is easy and natural to teach children to say “thank you,” but the challenge is to teach them the feeling of gratitude. The benefits of having a thankful heart and living in a manner where being thankful is a way of life is ideally what every family should strive for. Raising children who live in a thankful state will create individuals who will experience stronger social relationships, life satisfaction, stronger psycholigical well being as well as overall good health.
Gratitude is more than just saying thank you. Gratitude is not just a behavior. Gratitude is an internal experience. According to a research study done in Raising Grateful Children, there is a four-part model of gratitude that concentrates on the items that people give us. The four parts are: analyzing why the items were given, connecting receiving gifts to the feeling it creates, having appreciation for the gift received and showing appreciation for the gift received. The game plan for assuring your child develops heartfelt gratitude is to begin the habit of engaging the 4 parts of the gratitude model, NOTICE-THINK-FEEL-DO. Below are five strategies to foster gratitude within children.
Parents who are grateful daily for the trivial things have children who develop a grateful attitude. As a matter of fact, parents who demonstrate a grateful attitude daily have a higher chance to demonstrate parenting behaviors that foster gratitude. An ideal practice would be to model gratitude by expressing appreciation. Parents should also consider the benefits their children will acquire by seeing them model the NOTICE-THINK-FEEL-DO attributes of gratefulness. These internal behaviors can simply be implemented by sharing thoughts of gratitude out loud.
The decision a parent makes on what type of environment or niches they create for their children is vital on creating an attitude of gratitude. The niches parents create such as afterschool activity to the playground they choose to spend time should be guided by the goal which is creating an attitude of gratitude. Research confirms that parents who choose activities for their children that instill gratitude create children with grateful hearts. This is vital because it gives parents the tools to affect the children’s attitude of gratitude. Parents should be mindful of the environment they select for their children. There should be a balance in activities that foster healthy bodies and competition and activities which engage children in civic engagement and community service. When parent make a conscious effort of creating children with grateful hearts, the choices made of where time will be spent benefit the children in several ways.
TALK ABOUT IT WHEN IT IS THERE
Parents should take advantage of moments when their children share gratitude as “teachable moments.” Using open-ended questions will allow children to remember grateful experiences with greater details.
TALK ABOUT IT WHEN IT IS NOT THERE
The study found that parents found it challenging to speak with their children about times when they were not grateful. When the children missed an opportunity to share gratefulness, when they showed entitlement or simply missed the opportunity to experience gratitude the parent may feel upset, can be embarrassed and discouraged. The question is how does a parent keep their cool and help children to use these challenging situations as a learning opportunity? In order for parents to speak to their children about missed opportunities for gratitude, parents need to start by using the same conversational skills when talking about times of gratitude. Listening carefully to children’s experiences of these moments, through open-ended child-centered conversation, may provide parents with clues as to what is getting in the way of their children experiencing gratitude. Are they making assumptions about how a gift came their way? Are they focusing on something else in the moment that is important to them and distracting them? Do they not yet have the skill of seeing the situation from someone else’s perspective? These are questions that parents need to ponder if faced with this challenge.
By first learning about how children see these moments, parents may gain new insights into how to get these moments back on track and help children to catch opportunities for gratitude when they come along.
REPEAT IT OFTEN
To become proficient at anything, one needs practice, reflection and time to become an expert at the skill. Is challenging for children to analyze gifts received through thoughts and feelings since it demands for them to depend upon other-focused developmental skills such as perspective and empathy. As children’s brains mature and they practice gratitude, the skills become easier. They become proficient in learning to make the connection between thoughts and feelings and this practice becomes a lifelong skill that everyone uses over their life time. As children get older, their opportunities to experience gratitude attitude increases. Children who can develop the skill to receive the gift behind the gift are in a better position to experience gratitude in a deeper manner and by developing this skill they are able to express gratitude to others in a deeper level.
The research to teach parents how to develop children with grateful hearts is vast. Reading all the advice can become really overwhelming to parents. Take it one day at a time, and if support is what you need, in order to be proficient at teaching your children how to live a grateful life, email me for a FREE 20 minute Life Coaching session: email@example.com
The GGSC’s coverage of gratitude is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation as part of our Expanding Gratitude project.
Posted in assistance, Children, Coaching, consultation, gratefulness, help, Life, Life Coach, Life Coaching, mother, motherhood, Parenting, parenting tip, Uncategorized, wisdom
Tagged advice, Lifestyle, parents, thanks
What are you saying to your children?
What type of words are you using when you are speaking to them?
My Dearest Father taught me many lessons in life. there are two very important lessons which helped me parent effectively. The first lesson he taught me was how to speak to my children. I lived with my Dad and my Step-Mother from the time I was 12 years old until the time I left to college at 18. In ALL those years living in Brooklyn, New York I NEVER, EVER heard my Dad say a bad word, NEVER! No matter how angry he was (I really don’t remember My Dad being angry to be honest with you), he never cursed, and he definitely never used bad words when speaking to my step-brother, step-sisters or myself never.
The second lesson I learned from my Dad is NEVER to speak negatively to my children’s dreams. No matter what I told him he never put the idea down and he never criticized the idea. He did have a lot of wisdom and shared the pros and the cons about my ideas, but ultimately I made the decisions.
When we speak to our children, there is no need to use bad words, there is no need to put our children down.
Be kind to your children, remember, The manner in which you are speaking to your children is teaching them a couple of things, they are learning from you how to treat others, how to speak to others, and how worthy they are but most importantly, they are learning from you how to be parents one day!
Certified Professional Life Coach
December 22, 2013 in Children, Coaching, Father, help, mother, motherhood, Teenagers, Uncategorized
Tagged children, Life, Life Coach, Life coaching, parenting, parents
Don’t cut your child’s wings because of your dreams and aspirations. Your dreams are yours. Their dreams are theirs! As parents we are here to Guide, Cultivate & Support their dreams!
The Late Rev. Dr. Mary A. Tumpkin taught me many things during the 20 years that she was my Spiritual Teacher. One of the lessons that I received, and understood without much studying was: My two girls, Nie and Cat came from me but they are not mine. GOD sent them here for a reason; GOD put within them EVERYTHING they needed in order to fulfill their Destiny. GOD has a plan for them and I have no right to tell them who they should become.
I guided them into activities and they selected the activities which made their Hearts soar. Nie is an actress by birth. Is in her blood, and though a lot of people would disagree with their child following an acting career, my thought was, that is what makes her happy.
Cat is a speaker, a writer, a spinner. She might be a lawyer, she might be a writer, she might be a journalist, she might be an activist, she might even be a Politian. These are things I see in her, but never will I influence her (only guide) on who she will be in life.
Parents, it is not our job to divert our children’s dreams. Our job is to guide them, to show them their options, and ultimately, only our children can make that the decision.
Parenting with Wisdom,
Certified Professional Life Coach
December 18, 2013 in assistance, Children, Coaching, empowering, God, help, support, Teenagers, Truth, Uncategorized, wisdom
Tagged Dr. Mary A. Tumpkin, father, fatherhood, Life, Life Coach, Life coaching, mother, motherhood, parenting, parenting tip, parents
I believe that what we call ourselves has a direct correlation on what we call our children!”
As an educator for the last 25 years I have come across many children who had very low self-esteem. Once I met their parents I realized that there was a direct correlation on how parents view themselves and how they view their children.
Most parents want more for their children than what they have experienced in their lives. There is however, a vital ingredient that some parents miss. Our children listen to us very carefully; when our children are toddlers they learn to speak by the words we use. What we attach to “I Am” becomes what our children will learn. When we say, I Am sick, I Am broke, I Am tired, those are the beginning of our children’s road map to who they are.
We need to choose differently! We need to add positive words to our “I Am.” We are doing this for our children and for ourselves. I am Victorious, I am Faithful, I am Peaceful, I Am Honest, I Am GOD in action, I am wise with my money, I am happy, I am LOVED, I am appreciated, I am right where I need to be. When our children hear those types of words attached to our I Am, they have no choice than to imitate these words.
When we speak to our children, we MUST never say bad words. Yes, I know life gets in the way and life becomes a challenge, but life is a one day at a time journey, one moment at a time. There is no need to curse at our children. That goes against the reason why they are here. Our children are here so that we can assists them in becoming the BEST they can be. That is our duty.
Do not call your children names! Treat your children as the biblical characters treated their children. We are to Bless our children! We are to Bestowed our GREAT words and ideas upon our children.
Having children is one of the Biggest Blessings GOD has Bestowed upon us. We MUST make sure we raise our children with respect, LOVE and a BIG dose of Self-Esteem.
Parenting is a Blessing,
October 14, 2013 in Children, Coaching, empowering, Father, mother, motherhood, support, Teenagers, Truth, Uncategorized, wisdom
Tagged Life Coach, Life coaching, parenting, parents
We sometimes seem to put our LOVE Ones last on our Priority list, specially Our Children! We do not me to do so, it just happens and time just passes!”
It seems like it was just yesterday that I gave birth in 1994 and just a couple of years ago that it was 1990. Nie will be 23 years old next month and Cat will be 19 years old in December.
Where did the time go?
It is GREAT to hear them reminisce about their experiences growing up. Sometimes I am shocked of their perception of their childhood. What I enjoy most is their accounts of times that we had fun, or that made them laugh!
Here is what I learned from my experience of raising NieCat. Children will tell their growing up story through their eyes. In order to make sure your children’s growing up story is one that you enjoy hearing:
1. Put them first!
2. keep your word!
3. Make a sacrifice, give them your time and your talents because at the end of the day, your children are your legacy.
If you need assistance on how to make time for your children, contact me for a FREE 20 minute Parent Life Coaching session, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Certified Professional Life Coach
July 25, 2013 in assistance, Children, Coaching, consultation, empowering, help, Life, motherhood, Uncategorized, wisdom
Tagged children, Life Coach, Life coaching, parenting, parents, Teenagers
Teens live in a state of Drama!
The first blog I wrote I named it “Adults forgetting their teenage years.” I want to refer to this article as we explore the 4th lesson our Teens teach us. Often time we become successful adults and totally forget what we said, did, listened and experience when we were 13 – 19. Please think of those days as you read this lesson.
Many times our Teens come to us to tell us their saga, the first responses we murmur sound something like this: “that is nothing!” “don’t worry about it,” “that is nothing to worry about,” “leave those friends alone.” “you are better than him/her, forget them,” These and other responses we give our Teens really discourage them.
If you remember correctly part of being a Teen is feeling things intensely, in other words what you may seem like no big deal to you is hugely important to your Teen. If you continue disregarding their feelings, they will stop talking to you and that is the one thing you DO NOT want!
I often tell parents who I coach to remember that they MUST listen to their Teens challenges intensely. Remember that they are feeling their feelings, they are honoring their feelings and you MUST do the same. You should feel Blessed that your Teen is sharing with you, please do not destroy this trust!
How would you feel if you called your best friend to say you were loosing your home to foreclosure and your friend dismissed you and told you not to worry, then, your friend proceeds to tell you that your issue is silly and it will go away! How would that make you feel?
When your Teen comes to you with their challenges/problems/drama here are some suggestions:
2. Do not give advice.
3. Do not put their friends down.
4. Do not dismiss or minimize their problem!
7. Look at the situation as you were a teenager.
If you need guidance in traveling the teenage world, don’t hesitate to email me, email@example.com for a FREE 30 minute Parent Life Coaching session.
Happy Navigating the teen world,
Certified Professional Life Coach
July 7, 2013 in assistance, Coaching, empowering, Life, Life Coach, Life Coaching, motherhood, Parenting, support, Teenagers, Uncategorized, wisdom
Tagged advice, assistance, children, fatherhood, parents
There are times in our lives that the experience of others grab you and does not let you go. As I write this I try to hold back my tears because when I think of the experience the Quintana-Cedeno family has endured is TOTALLY overwhelming to my heart! GOD doesn’t give you more than you can stand, and when you go through your life lessons, the BEST thing to do is to grow and become an agent of change. The Quintana-Cedeno family is an Exceptional example on how we can take a life tragedy and turn it into a Blessing to others. Below you have Kyan’s story. I have taken excerpts from his Facebook page and am sharing it with you. I hope that you can share his story with others so that we can save our Babies, our toddlers!
Saving Lives… One Little Swimmer at a Time.
June 9, 2013 marked our hearts forever. God called upon our beloved Kyan to become a little angel in heaven. It is because of this that Kyan’s Kause was created in order to prevent any other tragedies.
As we gather our thoughts for the night, we are so happy that a Facebook goal that we thought would take several weeks, was reached this evening. We wanted to honor our son by reaching 1000 Facebook members for Kyan’s Kause by his 3rd Birthday on June 30th. To our surprise, thanks to you and your love for our little boy, today June 19th, our precious baby’s Kause reached well over 1100 members and growing. Because of you, we continue to spread water safety awareness on behalf of our son. Please continue to fuel our drive to save other children by sharing our site. Throughout the next few days we will be posting Kyan’s Kause progress with its plans to circulate our vision throughout South Florida.
We are celebrating Kyan’s Life on his birthday weekend by bringing awareness to water safety the only way we know how, by having lots of fun. We will be celebrating with water slides, food, music, games, and activities for parents and kids of all ages. There will be plenty of vendors and items on display as we will be fundraising all for Kyan’s Kause. We are asking everyone to bring a new bathing suit for boys/girls in sizes 2-10 as Kyan’s birthday gift to be donated to the S.W.I.M.S. Foundation. We also wanted everyone to wear red as it is Kyan’s favorite color. Please make sure to bring your beach chairs and bathing suits to enjoy the day and celebrate with family and friends for a great Kause. We look forward to seeing all of you with us this weekend at Bridgepoint Preparatory, 12001 Sunset Drive, Miami, Florida 33183
Please support His Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyans-Kause as well as the foundation, http://www.swimsfoundation.org.
Let’s keep our Babies/Toddlers Safe,
June 26, 2013 in assistance, Children, Coaching, empowering, Father, help, inspiration, Life, Life Coach, Life Coaching, mother, motherhood, motivation, Parenting, support, Uncategorized
Tagged babies, baby, death, drowning, parenting, parents, swimming, toddlers, water safety