Building Gratitude Through Resiliency
Our lives are filled with firsts. First date. First kiss. First job. Every “first” we experience opens a new door in our journey. It signifies the end of one segment and the beginning of the next.
Beyond experiencing your own “firsts” you have front row seats to your children’s.
As a mom, I am sure you love to capture the adventures of your kids. You might keep locks of hair from their first haircut. Take photos of them smashing cake into their mouths on their first birthday. Capture a recording of their first steps. Even save bracelets from the unexpected trip to the emergency room.
Events like these make up the first few chapters of their story. A story you guide them through, while allowing them to be their own “star”.
As they grow and develop into little people and personalities, each new first they encounter might not be easy. Truth be told, a lot of firsts are a struggle not only for your children, but also for you. It is important as a parent to avoid taking over while still supporting and guiding.
According to Dr. Angela Duckworth, one of the leading experts on grit, “Grit is passion and perseverance, sticking with your future, day in and day out”. Permitting your kids to persevere and rise above challenges builds a sense of resiliency.
With resiliency brings gratitude. Gratitude is defined as the acknowledgement of goodness in one’s life. Simply put, being thankful. Being Happy.
We want our kids to be happy. We want them to be confident and content while grateful and generous. Happiness is the outcome of an attitude of gratitude. It is this positive perspective that supports us when walking through any rite of passage.
With happiness comes your desire for your children to succeed. Here is a list of suggestions from familyshare.com on how you can allow your children to tackle some of these life challenges.
- Provide opportunities for them to choose things in their daily life. Examples can be like what to wear for the day or what to have for a snack. Introducing this ability in their life teaches them to live with consequences and make better decisions.
- You have heard and probably used the phrase “nobody is perfect”. That goes for your kids as well. It is important you allow them to fail in order for them to learn from their failures. Encouragement and helping them to stay focused are great support when adversity is present.
- Nobody likes a know it all. Don’t always give out answers and instead give your kids the opportunity to find answers for themselves. Self-obtained answers become part of a child and not something they will easily part from.
- The helicopter parent syndrome – a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s experiences and problems. You can’t fight every battle your kids will face and they will need to learn to do this on their own. Of course, you’ll be there when your help is needed for advice and counsel.
- Encourage reading in your child’s life. Even at a young age before they can read by themselves take time to read books to them. This teaches them the importance of reading but additionally offers a great resource for learning in general.
- Talking to your children and asking them questions is a great way to teach them the proper questions to ask. They can learn for themselves by asking what questions to ask without giving a solution. Make it a nightly habit to talk things through while at the dinner table.
In this big, crazy world we want nothing more than to shelter our children from all of the potential harms lurking out there. Some of the “firsts” your children will experience will be great experiences; others may be a struggle. Allowing them room to persevere and rise above challenges will give a sense of accomplishment and more importantly, a sense of gratitude.
Written by Mary Messina