Yesterday a young boy from down the street came for a visit. It was his first time here and it couldn’t have been more beautifully eye opening.
As he ran from the tree house, to the trampoline, to the chickens, to the tire swing he kept saying “This is amazing!! You have everything!!”
The yard around our house is amazing, it’s true, and my kids are very fortunate but let’s be honest, it is easy to loose site of how good you have it when this is what you look at everyday.
This little boy, let’s call him the ‘Master of the Moment’… reminded us that there is a whole lot to be grateful for.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Practicing Gratitude with Children
1. Morning Thank You’s
Before my eyes open and my feet hit the ground I start with gratitude. I thank my bed, the bird I can hear singing outside my window, my allergy free blanket, the coffee I am about to drink, etc. Then I think of all the people who I am eternally grateful for; the principal who gave me my first job, my mother, my children for making me laugh every day, the list goes on.
I share this practice with my children in the morning when we are having wake up cuddles. I list three things I am grateful for…then I ask them if they would like to share what they are grateful for.
2. Gratitude Journal
I first heard of keeping a gratitude journal from Oprah Winfrey. I don’t have one journal, specifically for gratitude, but rather I start with gratitude before I start writing in my journal. Some times this could be three things and sometimes it could be a page.
My children will often sit by me while I am journaling and they will have their drawing journals out. Journaling is a daily practice which helps me to tap into my creativity. Gratitude ensures that my mindset and my words flow in a more powerful and positive direction.
3. Gratitude on the Move
I remember seeing a video with Tony Robbins years ago where he described his morning practice. He and his wife go on power walks and in their head, or perhaps out loud to each other, they voice what they are grateful for. They don’t stop with one statement they let their imaginations wander and detail how deep their gratitude goes for these people, circumstances or moments. I have heard it described as a gratitude rampage.
Recently, I have started walking/running. These gratitude rampages have really save me, on hot summer days when my mind wants to give up. The kids and I have done gratitude ‘Shout Outs’ while riding our scooters; Thank you for my scooter! Thank you for this beautiful day!… Life is gift that should be celebrated loudly!
4. Love Notes
Expressing your gratitude to others is the stuff magic is made out of. Just before Christmas my children created a Countdown to Kindness. One day we wrote love notes to people expressing our gratitude for having them in our life. Some of those notes where addressed from the universe and I left them in different places around my community. Leeloo left love notes to the fairies thanking them for coming to live in our garden.
5. Bedtime Gratitude
As we lie in bed we sometimes reflect on our day. We talk about what made us feel happy and what made us feel sad. In these moments, even with the sad times, we can look for a nugget of gratitude. Whether it is the person who helped us sort out a problem or we can feel grateful for finding a solution to make us feel better. It is easy to be grateful for the good things but it is also important to celebrate how we handle the hard times in life because in the words of master…
Life is like a box of chocolates you never know what you are going to get…
I think it is important that we all realise that some times in life it may seem like there is nothing obvious to be grateful for. However if we start with the small stuff we will find that there is a mountain of things to be thankful for.
Questions to help you share Gratitude with your kids…
1.What are you grateful for right Now?
2. Have you said Thank you today? Who did you say it too and why?
3. Name one person, one thing, one moment that you are grateful for today?
4. What is one thing that made you feel happy today? What is one thing that made you feel unhappy? How did you solve that issue?
Thank you Master of the moment for showing me the way this week!
Wishing you and yours a week filled with Gratitude and Mindful Moments!
P.S. Mindful Storytelling kicks of this week at a local primary School. First lessons theme is on Kindness. Follow this link to find out about or programs for schools and more!
P.S.S. Read another post on gratitude about the time I met Wayne Dyer.