As they say, the children do not listen to our words, they simply imitate our actions. As I have mentioned in other posts on gratitude here and here, we have this ritual at the dinner table where every member of the family has to tell anything for which they are grateful today. Children say funny things they are grateful for, and show us how we can find appreciation in almost everything around us.
Having practised it for years now, I recently saw a result of what we have been teaching them. One day, someone hit our car from behind on the way to school. By coincidence, after a few days, someone else hit our car from the side again. On both occasions, while I looked inside at the children and hurried out of the car to see the extent of the damage, my daughter’s immediate response was that of thankfulness. She was thankful that nobody was injured and she was thankful that the car could still be driven. And this was right after the car was hit (obviously I would say that too but after a few minutes).
On both of these days, I felt an immense sense of gratitude for the person who wrote about this technique in a blog or book somewhere and I was fortunate enough to read it and practice it at home. It works. And feels good to raise a child well.