I was at the gym yesterday when I glanced down through the glass windows towards the swimming pool and saw a lady in a wheelchair (in her swimsuit) by the pool. She only had one leg and a stump (to her knee). Being the curious person that I am, I kept looking down to see what she was doing. A member of the gym brought a special seat to the pools edge. She got up from her wheelchair and hopped to the special seat and then they lowered her into the water. She spent five minutes warming up by stretching her arms in a breast stroke motion. She then grabbed a flat floater from the edge of the pool, held it in front of her and started swimming. I was amazed. To watch this lady, so determined. It filled me with a sense of gratitude. It’s so easy in life to look at everything going wrong, to focus on the negative when in fact we have so much to be grateful for. Here was a lady who wasn’t physically complete and yet was swimming laps in the pool, just as I would. Her determination and courage touched me.
When I came home I did a little research about ways we can teach our children to be grateful and why it is so important to do so. So here it goes:
1. Every night when reading your child a book and tucking them into bed, ask them to tell you three things that went well for them that day or three things that made them happy.
2. Stick little notes around the house and their room reminding them of things they have to be grateful for.
3. Have a family gratitude list on the fridge where each family member can write what they are grateful for and inspire other members of their family.
4. Go around the table at dinner time and have each family member say one thing they are grateful for in that moment.
Why is it so important?
1. It def. leads to better attitudes. When they’re focusing on the good you don’t have time to develop a negative attitude.
2. You can develop closer and greater relationships.
3. Your children will have greater energy and enthusiasm.
4. They can have more empathy towards people in difficult situations as they realise how much they have to be grateful for.
Here’s a great youtube video: Dr. Christine Carter of the Greater Good Science Centre, talking about teaching your kids how to be grateful and the relationship between gratitude and happiness:
What do you have to be grateful for today?