How can we help our children express gratitude when facing life’s adversities?
Sometimes life sucks. Things happen: we lose our jobs, our business fails, we lose loved ones, our relationships fail or we have financial problems. Be honest, you have days when you struggle to find gratitude for the simple things. We get so caught up in wanting more or wanting to be more, we sometimes forget that who we are and what we have is enough.
There have been days when all I can muster is a simple “Thank you God” without much real gratitude. It is on those days that you really have to step up as a parent. It’s easy to be grateful and cheery when life’s at it’s peak but it’s a struggle to be grateful when you’re in the valley.
Ask for Help
This is not the time to play superhero or super-heroine. Life happens and situations are not always in our control. You may want to put your pride aside and ask for assistance. You need to dismiss the thinking that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s the strong that know when they can not go on doing it alone. Show your kids that reaching out to others is a sign of strength.
There is Always Something to Be Thankful For
I know, its easier said than done but if you don’t want to raise a Debbie or Dougie Downer, than it’s time to buckle up and start showing appreciation for the things you simply ignore or forget are blessings. Make it a game or a challenge for your kids to name or list all the things for which they are thankful. Point out to them when other people are being kind and generous.
Stay Away From Miserable People
There are people in this world who thrive on misery. These people go to sleep and wake up complaining about life and all its woes. Unfortunately, sometimes these people are your spouse or family member, so staying away from them is a challenge. You can not change them, but you can change how you respond to their misery. 1. Don’t react to what they’re saying. Miserable people need an audience. 2. Don’t try to show them the bright side by being positive. This fuels more miserable comments. The best thing to do is to walk away or ignore their comments. Set healthy boundaries with miserable people, so that you aren’t influenced by their negativity.
Altruism is a good way to bring yourself out of the darkness. It really does make you feel better. You are able to step out of yourself pity fog and give of yourself to someone in need. There are people who are in worse situations than you. Sometimes it’s helping them that helps you see what you do have in your life.
Resiliency Builds Character
We recognize our strength and abilities during challenging times. It’s the moments that push us out of our comfort zone that define us. It’s these moments that we know that although we feel fragile, life will not break us. It’s also a wake-up call that life never promised to be fair.
Before we demonstrate to our kids how to be thankful during hard times, we must first acknowledge and validate their feelings. If your child is having a difficult time, it’s important to allow them to grieve.