It's no big secret that when our kids watch us develop ourselves to be stronger, more confident people with fortified foundations, they follow suit.
And of course, one of the biggest things we want for our kids is for them to be happy!
So it’s up to us to teach them how to be happy.
By becoming happy.
But, how do we become happy??
Think of it like an exercise you do at the gym. We start by lifting light weights, and at first they may feel heavy, and the movements might feel awkward. But eventually, our muscles start to get trained and firm and strong, and eventually, those weights are easy, and your body and reflexes are stronger.
Happiness is kind of like that. It’s a muscle that can be trained—in our brains!
One of the ways we train our brains to be happy is by practicing gratitude.
When you write down the things you’re grateful for at the end of each day, at first it can feel super-hard and awkward. But eventually, as your day goes by, you start to see things you want to remember to write down later. And when you do this, you’re actually training your brain to see things that you might not have noticed before. You’re actually looking for the positive in life, thus making you feel happier, every day.
Here are some ways you can do this for yourself, and with your kids:
- Keep a gratitude jar where everyone writes their “gratefuls” on a slip of paper. When the jar is full, the family can read them aloud.
- At dinner each night, have everyone say one (or three) good things that happened that day.
- Keep a gratitude journal and each night, write down 5-10 things you’re grateful for.
Remember, our kids are sponges and mirrors. They’ll absorb a positive mindset from you if you help them and model it.
If you give this a try, I’d love to know how it goes for you and your family! Let me know in the comments!