We’ve all heard how adopting an “attitude of gratitude” can improve your life, but how exactly do you go about doing that? Sometimes it’s easy to let life get us down and to get caught up in all the daily hustle that we forget to stop and give thanks for the little (and big) things.
Here are some simple ways that we incorporate gratitude in our homeschool.
1. Start the Day With an Offering
This can be an offertory prayer, or a simple statement of intention for the day. You can also offer a prayer for a goal that you would like to accomplish for the day. Don’t keep these to yourself; it’s easy to do as a family before you begin your homeschool day. We like to say our offertory prayer at breakfast. It really does pave the way for an awesome day.
2. When Something Goes Wrong Reframe It
I’m not saying to pretend that bad things don’t happen. They do happen and they will happen. That’s life. In my experience it’s the small things that have the biggest ability to make me forget to be grateful, not the big things in life. A forgotten appointment; a missed deadline; plans needing to be changed last-minute; a week that’s too busy; all these things throw me into a tailspin of ingratitude.
When I find myself complaining, that’s when I know it’s time to stop, pause and take stock of what’s good about the moment. Reframe it by finding something good to positive to focus on. Modeling behavior is a huge part of parenting and educating. I, for one, don’t want to model complaining behavior and bad coping skills for my children. I want my family to have an attitude of gratitude because that helps me, too.
Also: Smile more! Read about how smiling actually changes your brain.
3. Do Something Nice For Someone
When you feel yourself going down the path of ingratitude, do something nice for someone. Get out of you own way. Ask a friend if they need help, hand out blessing bags to the homeless, or volunteer at your church or food pantry. If you can’t get out and do something, send a “thinking of you” letter (a real letter), or make a phone call to someone who’d love to here from you. Make it special: don’t just send a quick text.
4. Keep a Journal
We love our inspirational quote journal because it allows us freedom to ponder the quotes and to create space for whatever we need to keep add to these thoughts. Personally, I use this as my gratitude journal. The quotes never get old, and are always a great reminder to me about how wonderful life is.
My teenagers keep gratitude sections in their bullet journals. Actually, my youngest has an entire journal devoted to recording things that she’s grateful for.
Also, don’t forget to smile. Read about how smiling changes your brain.
5. State What You’re Grateful For: Out Loud
I’m a big Brene’ Brown fan. If you haven’t read any of her books, I highly recommend them. I love them all, and have listened to all of her books (I’m a huge audio book fan) more than once, but these are my favorites and ones that I recommend you start with.
After you’ve read (or listened to) one or more of the above books, be sure to get this one:
Brene’ has a practice in her household where she and her family go around the dinner table each night and say one thing they’re grateful for. Sounds a little hokey? Maybe. But she’s a well-respected sociologist who knows what positively and negatively affects people and human behavior, so if she’s doing this with her family, I’m doing it, too. And you know what? It does help. It brings my husband into the here-and-now of family life after a day of work, and it helps us all cultivate a small culture of gratitude among us. The benefits far outweigh the effort it takes.
If you have other ways of incorporating gratitude in your life and in the life of your family, we’d love to know about them so tell us below!
Go ahead and share this post with a friend. We want them to be happy, too!