Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. With Thanksgiving coming everywhere you look it’s gratitude. On TV, in the news, social media, etc. Don’t get me wrong, It’s a great topic and an even better principle. I guess I just get tired of seeing it come and go once a year. Gratitude, to me, is something that should be practiced daily, year round. Of course it is a good thing to discuss and teach your kids during this time of year but my philosophy is that children should be raised to be grateful human beings.
What exactly does that mean and how is it done? I guess that’s the big question and I don’t really have an answer, just my opinion and what I try to do with my kids; live in gratitude and behave like a grateful person. I believe gratitude is more than just being thankful and expressing thanks. I believe it is a state of mind and being an accepting our life and the people in it while being appreciative for the life we have. To do that and truly be grateful is to demonstrate that through our behavior and how we conduct ourselves through good times and bad. It is one thing to simply say thank you and another to live in gratitude. Actions speak louder than words so it is not what we say but what we do that truly illustrates if we are grateful. The test is to ask myself “are my actions those of a grateful person?”
That is how I teach my kids about gratitude. Of course with kids you need to first discuss it and teach them what it means but you instill the concept and raise grateful kids by acting in a way that shows you are grateful yourself, reinforcing the lesson. As I am sure all you parents know, kids do more of what we do, not what we say. As hard as it can be at times, I must always remember that the greatest teachings from me are going to come from my own behavior that reinforces the lessons I try to teach them with words. These lessons are the ones that will have the greatest impact on their development as human beings and citizens of the world.
Go-Go Babyz can be very trying at times. Running a small business is not an easy task and there good times and tough times when it can be hard to find any reason to be grateful. But what kind of teacher am I if all I do is complain during the rough times? I have to remember that their eyes and ears are always on me when they are around whether I think they are or not. So I need to be aware and remember to show my appreciation for Go-Go Babyz and how lucky I am to have the opportunity to be part of a family business even if things aren’t going my way.
So for me, gratitude in an attitude; a perspective based on a principle that needs to be practiced. Practice is an action word so the best way I can raise grateful kids is to act in a way that tells them I am grateful and in turn shows them how to be a grateful person. For me it takes practice. I am not perfect and don’t act right all the time but I know if I can practice on keeping my perspective good, the right actions will come and before I know it, I have a couple of truly grateful kids.
VP & Dad