twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Raising Grateful Kids

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

momlogic's Vivian: Most of the children in our country have so much. But do they appreciate it? Writer and dad of six Todd Aaron Jensen thinks that teaching children to be grateful will help them lead happier lives -- by as much as 25 percent!

On Gratitude

"Kids today have a sense of entitlement that is detrimental enough on its own, but as you grow older ... if you live with that kind of attitude, you will find the universe increasingly fails you," says Jensen. "The greater your expectations, the greater your disappointments. It's absolutely critical for parents -- whether religious or not -- to teach their kids to count their blessings and be thankful for the good in their lives, from the food they eat to the color of the flowers."

Jensen's concern about kids' lack of gratitude was a key inspiration for his new book, "On Gratitude: 51 Celebrities Share What They're Most Thankful For," which outlines how some of today's most influential personalities express gratitude for the good in their lives. "Almost everyone in the book says [that] to give is the greatest way to live a life," he says.

"We're taught this fuzzy math about all the things that aren't right, instead of appreciating all the things that are right and all the riches that we do have," he continues. "The truth is, I lived my life like that for years. I was amazingly gifted at counting all the lack, and it wasn't until the wheels blew off of my life five years ago, when everything I'd anchored myself to became unhinged all at once, [that] ... a friend said, 'No matter what you've lost, you're still the richest man I know.' That was a blessing, because if it hadn't all gone wrong at once, I'd still be doing a slow death! Like most people, I'm a slow learner. I'd lost all the things that I loved, but I also lost all the things that I had that I did not love and that I did not know that I did not need."

Jensen thinks that, in addition to recognizing what to be grateful for, kids should learn how to create their own "gratitude opportunities." He kindly provided us with these easy suggestions:

LISTEN: Listening may or may not be fundamental to a 5-year-old's behaviorial wheelhouse, but it is critical. Ask your child to tell you something great or interesting about her day, then listen. Ask, "What else was wonderful about your day?" Take a moment to listen to the birds sing or the airplanes soar, to each other's heartbeats or the garbage disposal, or -- they love this one! -- to the toilet flush. Awareness begets gratitude.

SAY GRACE: Saying "please" is the foundation of good manners, but it suggests that our needs are unmet. Saying "no" comes easily to most of us, particularly if we are 4 years old. But saying "thank you" means you are satisfied, fulfilled, abundant and grateful that what you need is what you've got. Bedtime is a wonderful time to express thanks for the day, and provides a powerful opportunity for families to connect before they plunge into slumber. Lead the way by saying, "I am grateful for ...." Then ask your child to list some things. Silly things count!

PLAY "GRATITUDE CATCH": Name something you're grateful for, then toss a ball -- any ball. (If your child is too young to catch, then roll the ball to them.) Before they return the ball, have them say something they're grateful for. Using the body for play lowers our intellectual defenses. Gratitude flows more freely when the mind doesn't get in the way.

USE TECHNOLOGY: Give your children a still camera or video camera and have them walk around your home, the park, even the mall, recording things for which they are grateful. You may even want to ask people you encounter to make their own gratitude lists on camera. Then pop some corn, pull out some blankets, snuggle and review the day's adventures.

VOLUNTEER: "We are here to help each other through this thing, whatever it is," the author Kurt Vonnegut told Jensen a few weeks before his passing in 2007. So practice that. Live that. There is no shortage of people on your block, in your neighborhood, on this planet who could use a little food, love and shelter. Find somewhere to spread some love. Take a checkerboard to a convalescent home, make a dozen sandwiches and stop by a used bookstore on your way to an area that's densely populated with homeless people, help out in a soup kitchen or have your kids donate allowance money to a favorite charity. To give is to live.

Want more information -- or want to share your gratitude list with Todd Aaron Jensen? Visit his website and post away!


next: Mom Makes Kids Watch Home Birth
43 comments so far | Post a comment now
gry gotowanie March 8, 2011, 6:50 AM

Great page you are running there. And many thanks for posting this.

xbox 360 destravado March 8, 2011, 9:29 AM

My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

Marlin Clymer March 8, 2011, 1:34 PM

great… this is what i lookin for :)

legal steroids March 14, 2011, 1:16 AM

I am really thankful to the author of this post for making this lovely and informative article live here for us. We really appreciate ur effort. Keep up the good work… .

heavenshills.com March 15, 2011, 9:02 PM

The following time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I imply, I know it was my choice to read, however I actually thought youd have something attention-grabbing to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could repair if you werent too busy on the lookout for attention.

wpolscemamymocneseo March 18, 2011, 6:40 AM

I wonder how can I check this by myself?

wpolscemamymocneseo March 18, 2011, 7:06 AM

Thx for post, nice approach.

Replica designer handbags wholesale March 23, 2011, 8:08 PM

Gratitude for another profound post. I am pretty sure this article has helped me save many hours of evaluation other similar posts just near uncover what I was wanting for

Designer replica handbags wholesale March 23, 2011, 9:35 PM

My partner make your mind up to do it help to make nice and clean on could fit right in planning to check back

Replica designer handbags wholesale March 23, 2011, 11:41 PM

I am often to blogging and i actually appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and hold checking for brand new information.

Designer handbags wholesale March 24, 2011, 8:18 PM

I was recommended this web site by my friend. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are wonderful! Thanks!

Designer handbags wholesale March 25, 2011, 1:39 AM

Gratitude for another profound post. I am pretty sure this article has helped me save many hours of evaluation other similar posts just near uncover what I was wanting for

expensive food March 30, 2011, 9:18 AM

Aw, this was a really great post. In theory I’d like to write like this also - taking time and real effort to make a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and never seem to get something done.

Samual Thieme March 31, 2011, 3:33 AM

Would you be occupied with exchanging links?

oral b pulsonic April 1, 2011, 10:29 PM

There are definitely a couple more details to take into consideration, but thanks for sharing this info.

wpolscemamymocneseo April 2, 2011, 7:52 AM

A few things i have seen in terms of personal computer memory is always that there are technical specs such as SDRAM, DDR and so on, that must match the specific features of the motherboard. If the pc’s motherboard is rather current while there are no os issues, upgrading the storage space literally normally requires under sixty minutes. It’s among the list of easiest laptop or computer upgrade types of procedures one can envision. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

wpolscemamymocneseo April 2, 2011, 8:05 AM

One thing I would like to discuss is that fat reduction plan fast can be carried out by the correct diet and exercise. A person’s size not only affects appearance, but also the complete quality of life. Self-esteem, depression, health risks, in addition to physical ability are impacted in weight gain. It is possible to do everything right and at the same time having a gain. In such a circumstance, a condition may be the offender. While a lot of food and never enough exercising are usually at fault, common health concerns and widespread prescriptions can certainly greatly amplify size. Thanks a bunch for your post here.

test April 4, 2011, 8:06 PM

THANK FOR YOUR POST MAN

top human pheromones April 5, 2011, 8:30 AM

Interesting homepage. Can I give you an opinion? I think u’ve got something good in this post. But what if you added a couple links to a page that relates to what you’re saying?

pheromone products April 6, 2011, 6:23 AM

Lawl I just noticed, you have the same name as I do. We both think the same way. Anyway, I’ve been stopping by your website lately especially when I’m bored and have nothing to do .


Back to top >>
advertisement