Thursday, November 16, 2017

What Produces Joy?

Hi!  Thank you for stopping by!  Recently I was reading a book by a woman who has dedicated her life to studying human behavior and why people do what they do.  In the book, she explains how during one of her studies she was interviewing people and realized only a very small percentage of those she interviewed experience joy, real joy, on a day to day basis.  As she dug deeper to see what this small percentage of people were doing that enabled them to experience such great joy in their lives she found one common thread.  Every single one of these people that experience true joy all had at least one thing in common.  Can you guess what it might be?

They practiced GRATITUDE.

It seems like such a simple answer.  This researcher couldn't believe that was what was producing joy.  Something so simple as giving thanks.

These people didn't necessarily have easy lives.  They all worried about their children, jobs, finances and relationships as each of us do.  They weren't exempt from hard times but because they had a habit of giving thanks every single day, they were able to focus on the positive in their lives.

We all want our children to be happy.  As parents, we seek to teach them and provide for them so they will feel happiness. Are we teaching our children the habit of giving thanks?  Are we teaching them to truly feel joy in their life?  Expressing gratitude is an important quality to cultivate in your child.  Studies show that grateful kids tend to do better in school, are less materialistic, less depressed, and less envious of others.  Their relationships are much stronger and more supportive.

These are some things to ponder as we go into the season of Thanksgiving!  One way of helping our children to practice gratitude is by providing opportunities for them to express what they are grateful for.  Apart from expressing gratitude verbally we can teach our children to write thank you notes!

Writing thank you notes can be daunting for a child but here are some tips and ideas that can make the process easier and more fun!

  • Gather markers, pens, blank cards, envelopes, postage, return address stamps and stickers.  Having fun tools like colorful markers and stickers will make it more enjoyable for your child!

  • Settle in with supplies and snacks and write several at a time after special occasions such as Christmas or birthdays.  Getting in the habit of writing a thank you note to someone simply because they are a good friend is another good reason to write a thank you note.

  • Show them how to use your address book or contact list on your phone, and help them to address envelopes correctly.

  • Teach kids to express their gratitude sincerely.  For instance, if they are not crazy about the sweater Aunt Lucy sent them, they could honestly say, the sweater must have taken you a long time to knit.  It feels so soft, and you remembered my favorite color is red! Thank you very much.

  • For kids that are too young to write, there are "fill in the blanks" thank you cards available online.  You could also make your own fill in the blanks version and use your home printer to make copies.

  • For children who have trouble constructing sentences, or are too young to write, have them dictate what they want to say while you write it down.

  • Take a photo of your child wearing or using the gift.  The photo can be used as a front of  the card.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words, and any gift giver would be delighted to receive this personalized card!

  • "thank yous" don't have to be reserved for tangible gifts.  Thanking grandma for a fun day in te kitchen making cookies fosters appreciation for special times spent together with family and friends.

  • Random thank you notes make the best surprises!  Your child can send a summertime note with a picture of him riding the bike he got for Christmas from grandma and grandpa.  They will be delighted to see him enjoying his gift!

We hope you will take time this season to teach your child the art of giving thanks which will bring joy into their lives and into the lives of others!


Your Children's Classic family

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