I fully believe that gratitude is a fundamental component of mindfulness, and teaching our children to appreciate the abundance in their lives (all the wonderful things they have and experiences they share) as opposed to always thinking about the toys and games and phones/devices/motorbikes etc. that they want, is what establishing a gratitude practise is all about.
My partner and I have had to work very hard for what we have, and we continue working hard! When we were young, neither of us had anything handed to us on a silver platter. Both of our mums made us our clothes, and this was often what we unwrapped for Christmas and birthdays! His mother would make him shorts and then stitch brand name labels on them – and I remember my mum buying a cabbage patch doll head, and pattern – and sewing the body!
We now have 4 children – my son is 20 and lives away from home, my 2 step-children are with us part time, and my 11-year-old daughter is with us full time. We try hard to encourage all these wonderful children to be grateful for what they have. We also try to give them what we can, yet we must be careful that they don’t become ‘expectant’, but they maintain an ‘attitude of gratitude’.
A great way to do this is to take the time of an evening, or in the morning (whatever works for your family) and share one thing you are thankful for.
This is not just for the children, but for everybody at the table/breakfast bar!
You could even take it further and ask “What are you hopeful for?”, “What are you happy about?” as well as what you are thankful for.
It offers some wonderful insight into your children’s world and will no doubt soon become the favourite part of your day.
Try it, and please, let me know how you go!