time to be thankful
I love POOH , don't you?
It depends on us how much gratitude we hold. It does not depend on others.
When my children were little we would put 5 kernels of corn on their plate at Thanksgiving and everyone took turns saying what they are grateful for. They have since outgrown little games like that. So how do we foster gratefulness in our teens ? Aren't we told they are so entitled and feel that they deserve everything? Well, have we conditioned them to be entitled? With that often comes a sense of disregard.
As Mark Greggston says:
" I owe you nothing, but I want to give you everything."
I can relate to that. My mother's heart wants to give them everything. And yet, with six children, that's not quite possible.
Would you say your teen is thankful? Are you thankful for your teen? It always comes back to you.
I am going to ask my children :" Do you think I'm thankful for you?" And then await their answer. Am I modeling gratefulness to them? It doesn't matter if I'm thankful to others and for others, and write thank you cards ( which I do and I encourage them to do the same), but if I'm not showing that I'm grateful for THEM, those things won't matter .
So the challenge is on. Let's show our teens that we are grateful for them. I would love for you to share some of your ideas.
You know the feeling you get when you have given something or done something for someone and they are genuinely thankful to you .Doesn't it make you want to give and do more? As a parent, we can share how good it feels to give.
Don't cheat them out of that feeling by not letting them do chores or contribute to the household. You can combat entitlement that way. One of my daughters is very good with Birthday party planning; so I ask her to help with that. Another daughter is a great cake and cupcake decorator; she gets that job.
For thanksgiving, or other holidays, I have learned to write a list of things that need to be done. I post it where everyone can see and I let them pick one that they like to do. This keeps me from reminding them and nagging and getting loud. They cross off what has been done and everyone knows what is still left to do. Less talking for me.
Another way to foster gratefulness is volunteering. Ask where they would like to volunteer. An animal shelter? We went to one and played with kittens. A soup kitchen? Donating clothes ? Helping a neighbor?
Of course we need to model it . Nope, we can't get away without first modeling it ourselves. teens are very sensitive to hypocrisy. They will recognize a thankful heart and hopefully will pick it up themselves.
Are you a complainer? Do you complain about housework? Your job? Your relatives? Everything? My friend and fellow coach ,Kelly Stout -Hutcheson, shared in her on line community that every time she got overwhelmed with laundry for example , she would choose to be thankful, because it meant that these clothes belong to people she gets to love !! This is a wonderful mind trick. It works with dishes, taking out the trash, picking up candy wrappers....you get it. Little (or big) fingerprints at the doors and windows , means they are still living with you and you get to love them. My oldest daughter is getting married next summer. They will leave sooner or later.
Be grateful. For each one. And model it.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone.
You are loved. Deeply loved. Loved beyond measure.
Contact me with any questions , I'm here to serve.