Has society fallen to a new despicable low? Hopefully, it has not. However, given the steady diet of doom and gloom provided by news media, we sometimes wonder. This week, my husband and I experienced an act of kindness that unlocked a window of hope. Hope in the inherent goodness of people. Hope in strangers who go out of their way to extend a helping hand.
Chris and I drove to Dallas to see my cousin Peggy and her beautiful family. While in Dallas, I contacted a friend I have known for 71 years — since we played together in dusty Barstow, Texas.
After being showered with overwhelming red carpet treatment by relatives and my childhood friend, I wanted a picture to recall this special time. While posing for the picture, I carelessly flung my purse on the back of our car. Only when we reached my cousin’s home did I realize the bag had vanished. We retraced the route, called my friend, and waited. Continue reading
Dr. Amy Campbell, counselor at the Rawson Saunders School for Dyslexia, shares powerful ideas for teaching gratitude and appreciation. Thank you, Amy for sharing this post.
‘Tis the Season to be…Grateful
Many researchers believe that gratitude is not something that comes naturally to children, but instead it must be modeled, learned, and weaved into the fabric of children’s lives. Here is a framework for parents to keep in mind when approaching gratitude with kids: Discussing intent: somebody put you first; discussing cost: what someone gave of themselves to me (time, money, energy, etc); and discussing benefit: what you got out of it. For example: “Hey Kelly, that was really kind of Jen to help you practice your spelling words when you were struggling (intent). It was nice of her to give up her recess time to help you (cost) and now you know your spelling list (benefit).
Also, here are some tips around gratitude with giving gifts any time of year:
Gift giving that helps children meet intrinsic goals. Gifts that provide personal growth or are shaped around kids’ interests (i.e., dance lessons, a keyboard, pottery kit) are typically linked more to feelings of lasting gratitude versus more temporary feelings of appreciation.
Identifying want and need. Remind kids that things they want and things they need are two different things. When kids say, “I need that new video game,” you can rephrase it as: “You need a new jacket. You want the new video game.” Some families give one want gift and one need gift. Continue reading
For the second time in two years, my husband and I find ourselves “displaced” for the holidays. We currently live in a twenty-year old motor home in the driveway of our house, which flooded just before Halloween. In the past, I have occasionally written to our granddaughter, Catherine. Today, I write to our fourteen-year old granddaughter once again. This time, I’m reminding myself instead of her.
Do you remember three years ago when nothing seemed to be going quite right for your family? During cold, dark mornings, you had to wait by yourself for the bus? Middle school seemed overwhelming with crowded lockers, pressured bell changes, and boys spitting in the halls? Continue reading
Once again, we find ourselves immersed in a traditional season of abundance. To prepare for our Thanksgiving feasts, we pushed clattering carts toppling with food across grocery parking lots. We prepared more than we needed and ate until waistlines required expanding. We gorged, we wasted, and in many cases, we forgot that not everyone in the world experiences the abundance we take for granted.
Now, thoughts focus on Christmas giving and getting. Wallets inflate to purchase gifts no one really needs. Because of the urging of parents and grandparents, our children concentrate on what to ask for during visits with Santa. No one wonders, “How can all the new “stuff” fit in spaces already cluttered from past excesses?”
When did I become such a “Bah-Humbug” person? (My husband suspects it began when my parents cut the ends out of my outgrown shoes so my toes would have space to expand.) Yet, I too enjoy giving. Few things bring more pleasure than purchasing for children. (Add the word “educational” to a toy description and I’m all over it!) Continue reading
How appropriate that Amy Campbell, counselor at the Rawson Saunders School for Dyslexia writes about gratitude. As my husband and I clean up after the second flood in two years, we benefit from remembering to be grateful. Thank you, Amy.
In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, researcher and author Brene’ Brown wrote, “Without exception, every joyful person I’ve interviewed actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their practices of gratitude.” Various researchers have consistently indicated that gratitude can be deliberately cultivated in childhood (and adulthood!) and can increase overall feelings of well-being and happiness. Here are a few simple ideas about how to intentionally practice gratitude with our children: Continue reading