Ever wonder why an attitude of gratitude can be challenging to live out among the people we love the most?
Parenting with an attitude of gratitude is similar to a muscle that we must exercise daily.
The more we practice, the easier it will become.
The more we look for the good, the easier it is to see.
When we focus on all we do have;
Our minds are not overcrowded by what’s missing.
You no longer have to wonder how other parents handle life with less stress, less worry, and less frustration.
You can be the happy, grateful parent you truly desire to be!
Today we are taking a deeper look at what it takes to cultivate thankfulness in our homes.
We will cover more understanding about:
- Having an attitude of gratitude as a parent
- Showing gratitude in our homes
- Why gratitude is the best attitude
- Discovering how gratitude makes you a happy parent
Living and parenting with a grateful perspective do not mean we are naive to the realities of parenting.
We are simply choosing to not allow the negative to drown out our joy of the gift of parenting we’ve been given.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Cultivating an attitude of gratitude may take time for most parents.
It’s easy to focus on our imperfections as parents.
And, spend too much time thinking about better decisions we could have made for our children as well.
But, if we can turn more of our attention to the things we have done right we will begin to see we have quite a bit to be grateful for.
Living a life of gratefulness places less value on stuff and materialistic possessions.
An attitude of gratitude can be defined as making a conscious habit to express thankfulness and appreciation.
- Relationships in our life
- Experiences and opportunities that positively impact our life
- Help showed to others
- Help and kindness showed to us
Practicing gratitude in these areas will prove there is more to be grateful for than there is to complain about.
HOW DO YOU SHOW AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Home is our daily training ground for practicing patience, becoming less self-centered, and examining the motives of our hearts.
Let’s look at 3 examples:
Getting dressed and ready to leave out the door has become a huge area in my life where I’ve had to develop patience.
For years, I would hurry my young children along.
Rush them around the house.
And impatiently put their shoes on to get out the door.
Until the time came when my children wanted to start putting their shoes on and button their shirts.
No more rushing, hurrying, or impatience.
I’ve learned to patiently wait as my children practice their newly learned skills.
The same process that felt frustrating because they were not moving fast enough;
Is the same process that has trained me to slow down and embrace an attitude of gratitude instead.
Showing gratefulness as our children become independent is worth being grateful for.
Becoming less self-centered:
Experiencing different phases of parenting has not always been easy for me.
As I begin parenting older teenagers, there were some things I was not prepared for.
And honestly, it felt overwhelming at times.
Writing became a major outlet for me.
I chose to focus less on my feelings and all the stress I was experiencing;
And use my blog as a creative outlet to help other parents.
I concentrated on lessons I learned and how they could help and benefit other parents.
This has by far become one of the most rewarding and fulfilling practices of showing an attitude of gratitude.
Because I am grateful for my lessons in parenting that I can use to help other parents.
It was a blessing to have family and friends in my life who were able to share helpful advice and wisdom to help me through my tough time.
So now, I get to do the same.
Likewise, as you experience your parenting learning lessons see the good in disguise which is you will be able to help other parents who think they’re “the only ones”.
Sharing parenting hardships is not always easy or comfortable to discuss.
But, how grateful it is knowing that you can be a listening ear of compassion for someone else.
Examining the motives of our hearts:
Parenting and perfectionism often compete with one another.
Although, perfectionism will lose every time.
There was a season in my life when my expectations for my children were unrealistic, to say the least.
I wanted everything about them to be perfect because somehow that made me feel I was doing a “great” job as a mother.
But the reality is, none of us are perfect.
In fact, Romans 3:23-24 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
As adults, we need God’s grace to help us.
How much more do our children need our grace, patience, and prayers as their parents?
This understanding helped me to check my motives as a parent.
Did I truly desire God’s grace for parenting?
Or did I just want perfect children?
I choose grace.
I’m grateful for the example I’ve been able to live out before children.
I know I have not been perfect.
All the while, keeping in mind that parenting is a blessing.
What a privilege to help shape and mold the life of a human being.
That’s how you beat depression, self-doubt as a parent, or negativity.
This is a key to having an attitude of gratitude as a parent.
Choose to focus on the good!
And ask for God’s help along the way.
WHY GRATITUDE IS THE BEST ATTITUDE
Parenting with a grumpy, ungrateful attitude is the fastest way to ruin the atmosphere in your home.
It’s understandable and a part of our human nature to desire nice things, a perfect family, or the ability to live with unlimited resources.
Having big dreams and aspirations does not define us as selfish people.
The key is knowing how to live as we wait on the things our hearts are longing for to happen.
How about just enjoying the home and possessions you have now?
Take care of your home as if it was the mansion you desire.
Cooking, cleaning, and decorating with a grateful spirit adds a special touch to your homemaking that your family can feel.
Our family, especially our children will most often remember how they were treated more than the stuff they accumulated throughout their childhood.
Wouldn’t you rather be a parent remembered for your uplifting, always seeing good attitude?
Your overall attitude will have the biggest impact on your child as they grow up.
Your attitude is much more valuable than anything you could ever buy them.
Studies show that gratitude is the key to a fulfilling life.
People who develop habits to cultivate gratitude increase their happiness and are more optimistic.
Grateful people feel more connected in their relationships.
They also are usually liked more by other people and get better rest.
You and your family can reap the benefits of you being a parent with an attitude of gratitude.
WHY AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE MAKES YOU HAPPY
Taking time to focus on more than bills, laundry, or our to-do list can make time for us as parents to sit and give thanks.
Sitting and giving thanks requires us to meditate on all we have to be grateful for.
Celebrating small victories such as finding a lost item instantly boosts your happiness.
Acknowledging and being thankful for major situations such as the safety and protection of your family not only makes you feel happy but also loved and full of compassion.
As parents we have so much to be grateful for that it’s almost odd that we have to “remind” ourselves to be grateful.
It’s often much easier to allow the daily routines of parenting to cause us to take life, parenting, family, and more for granted.
Oftentimes, out of a deep sense of wanting the best for ourselves and our family, we forget to appreciate what we already have.
Aspiring for the better, while staying engulfed in gratefulness will keep you motivated and happy.
Knowing your “why” for wanting to be the best parent you can be is important.
But also knowing your “how”, which should be parenting with a joyful and grateful heart.
CULTIVATE A HOME OF THANKFULNESS
Let’s look at 9 strategies for you and your family to use to practice thankfulness daily.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
Keeping a notebook or workbook to daily write what you are grateful for causes you to reflect and appreciate something good every day.
2. Verbally express your gratitude.
Tell your family members how much you love them, appreciate them, and how grateful you are they’re a part of your life.
3. Meditate on gratitude.
We are reminded in Philippians 4:8 ” …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think on such things.”
I know this can be easier said than done.
But, it’s worth the effort to train your mind to look for the good in life.
This is especially important in biblical homemaking.
4. Look for daily moments of joy.
Start small, but stay consistent.
Make it a non-negotiable to find at least 1 thing to appreciate every day.
5. Stop the comparison game.
This is a slow poison.
A method I like to use is not focusing on somebody’s else best, but focusing on what’s best for my family.
You should only compare yourself to the best version of yourself.
And remember everyone’s journey in life is unique.
6. Appreciate daily mundane tasks.
Yes. I know it doesn’t sound exciting but here’s why you should.
Seeing the good in a messy kitchen for example means there was food to cook.
Your family ate well.
You had working gas or electricity to cook with.
Thank God for clean, running water.
Your family’s bodies are functioning well enough to eat and digest food.
You have the resources to provide food for your family.
You are skilled enough to prepare a meal for your family.
There were chairs to sit in, a table to sit at, dishes to eat on.
And most of all, your family gathered to eat together.
You can practice this same mental framework for many daunting household tasks.
7. Buy less and give more.
This is one reason I love minimalism.
Becoming more intentional to declutter your life of more stuff so there is more time and space for the people that matter in your life.
Minimalism is more than a “trend”; It’s a lifestyle that values people over things.
8. Send physical cards to people.
Personally, I love receiving cards in the mail.
It’s refreshing knowing someone took the time to handwrite their feelings and thoughts towards you.
9. Call people.
I understand the business of life that can quickly steal your time.
I find it easier to make phone calls early in the morning or while my children are occupied.
People will understand you are not always able to call or that you’re not able to talk for long periods.
But a quick “hello”, “how are you” will go a long way.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LIVING A LIFE WITH GRATITUDE
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT BIBLICAL HOMEMAKING is an article I wrote to share lessons I’ve learned to help me appreciate and better understand the art of biblical homemaking.
I share about:
- The Proverbs 31 Woman
- God’s grace for biblical homemaking
- Homemaking is a calling
- Learning how to enjoy being busy at home
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HOME MANAGEMENT is an article I wrote to give a general blueprint to help anyone new or needing encouragement to begin or improve their home management skills with 7 key principles:
- Creativity / resourcefulness
- Routines, planning, and schedules
- Gratitude / patience
START PARENTING WITH A GRATEFUL HEART
Remember, parenting with an attitude of gratitude is the key to joyful parenting.
With all the many ups and downs of parenting, work hard to see the good through it all.
Even when it comes to making tough decisions.
Celebrating our family’s wins, valuing what matters most in life, and patting ourselves on the back as parents are all important for cultivating a parenting legacy of gratefulness that can last a lifetime!
* Christian Gratitude Journal for Kids is the daily gratitude journal my son uses every day in our homeschool.
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