BLACK FRIDAY, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, CYBER MONDAY --OH MY! Halloween is barely over, Thanksgiving is still in the planning. Holiday gift catalogues are filling out inboxes and mailboxes. The onslaught of the push to buy.
We are inundated with commercials touting the "must have" items. And our kids are often the prime targets. So as our "to-do" lists get longer, so do there "I want" lists.
A recent study found that 68% of us have bought something because of FOMO, the Fear of Missing Out. Nowhere is this more evident than this time of year. Kids’ lists are growing longer by the minute, fueled by TV ads, circulars, and discussions with friends.
Well-meaning moms and dads don’t want their kids to be the one “without”, so scurry to buy them every item on the list, often going into debt to do so.
“I wouldn’t even care”, said one mom, “but they’re not even happy. The barely finish opening one gift, and they’re asking for the next. And there always seems to be something they wanted and didn’t get. And that’s what they focus on. There’s no sense of appreciation.”
Some kids even go so far as to Tweet their displeasure with their presents, with their parents, their lives - complaining how awful their holiday gifts were. Not one mentions giving to anyone else.
What’s a mother to do?
There is a way out of this. There is a way to teach your children to consciously cultivate gratitude. Not only will this make your house more peaceful, it will transform them into happier, healthier, and more productive human beings.
And by the way - you’ll love this for yourself too!
Help your child consciously cultivate gratitude.
Commit to consciously doing one kind act per day. Have them "announce" it in the morning.
Have a gratitude jar...each night write down something they're grateful for a put the slip of paper in the jar.
Donate their gently used clothes and/or toys to someone in need.
Model the behavior you'd like to see in your child.
Some people have had great success with the "rose, thorn, bud" method: one thing they are grateful for, one not-so-much, and something that they are looking forward to.
Pick one or more of these and you're on solid ground cultivating gratitude in your child. But, consistency is key. It's not just a Thanksgiving or Holiday thing - Gratitude is a way of life. And, studies show that gratitude is significant contributor to feelings of greater happiness overall. When you appreciate what you have; what you don't have becomes less important.
"Gratitude turns what we have into enough." ~Aesop
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