It’s not fair! What to do when your kids are seeing nothing but deficits

on Fri 19 Jul

Last night my daughter was definitely wearing a pair of sludgy brown glasses. She was having one of those moments where everything was about what other people are getting, doing and achieving and she isn’t.  It’s not fair…they always get…but it’s not fair!!!

Obviously, when we had a chat about it, she realised she was seeing the situation from one side and it would be very easy for someone else to look at her life and say the same thing.

Now, this doesn’t happen very often (and it’s the end of term and the wheels are falling off) but it got me thinking about how easy it is to find ourselves focused on our deficits rather than our assets.    

I catch myself doing it too sometimes.

So, what’s the answer?

Gratitude

Taking time to notice and reflect on the positive things in life, regularly, can do wonders for our mental and physical health. We tend to experience more positive emotions, we’re more able to be compassionate, loving and giving to others and we’re also wiring our brain to be more optimistic (something that can protect us from depression). 

How can we get the whole family to do it?

I don’t know about you but it’s really easy to know something is good for you but then not do it – but gratitude is different. Practising gratitude every day is actually a really easy habit to establish if you keep it simple.

3 things every day

Encourage the whole family to think about and share 3 things they're grateful for or went well that day.  It doesn’t have to be big stuff. It could be something as simple as getting to school on time or a good cup of coffee.

This works even if you’ve had the day from hell. In fact, it’s even more important to reflect on something positive when things are going south.  Sometimes the small things make a really big difference.  

Here are some ideas you might like to try:

  • Make gratitude a dinner time thing and encourage the whole family to share their 3 things every day
  • Be grateful at bedtime – it’s a really nice way to end the day and wind down on a positive note
  • Have a family gratitude journal and encourage everyone to write down their 3 things.

Practising gratitude doesn’t take much time but it can have a massive impact on how the whole family think and feel.  It’s also a great way to connect with each other at the end of a hectic day.

So, what am I grateful for right now? It’s Friday…I love a Friday feeling!!!

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