Gratitude: Can we teach our kids to be grateful?

So, yesterday was Thanksgiving and it was freezing in the city so we skipped the parade (a family tradition which I haven’t fully carried out), and headed up to the county house. Instead, I started my morning with a Gratitude Yoga class at a local studio up here (loved), and we all went to Oma’s  house in the afternoon.

gratitude thanksgivingAria loved the turkey & Opa’s famous stuffing, and although she realized it was a holiday, and was cute with her well-rehersed “gobble, gobble,” I’m not quite sure she fully grasps the concept of gratitude. There are often times when I talk to her about how lucky she is, how lucky we both our– for our life and all the good people and stuff it’s filled with.  I can see the little wheels turning in her head when I talk about it all, but I’m not sure she fully grasps gratitude (yet).

So, the big question is, “Can we teach our kids to be grateful?”

And, I know the answer is yes. Of course, in part that comes with good parenting, and the choices we make for our kids. I know for myself I have to stop giving her so much sometimes (of the material sort that is)– for too many “favorite” stuffed animals and toys have already fallen to the bottom of the toy basket, never to be heard from again. But ultimately, I also know the biggest way  that I can teach gratitude is not by saying or doing anything, but by being grateful myself.

Gratitude is something that I’ve been trying to put at the forefront more and more. Day to day, I try to consciously live in a place where I appreciate all that I have, and not worry about what I don’t– to trust that I am exactly where I need to be at this moment and be thankful for that place and everything in it.

Now, for me this is sometimes tough.  My perfectionist, success-driven nature often combats gratitude by always wanting better and more. But as much as I want Aria to see her mom as strong and driven, I want more for her to see me as happy and grateful. Because in the end, I know that living in gratitude brings happiness, and, ultimately, isn’t being happy what we all really want most?  I know for me it is, and (more importantly) it’s what I want most in life for Aria.

So today, I say Happy Thanksgiving (again).  Here’s to being grateful, every day.

One thought on “Gratitude: Can we teach our kids to be grateful?

  1. Pingback: We are so lucky… | Mommyhood: Take 1

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