Teaching the art of gratefulness #2

Gratefulness 101:

1. Say Grace and teach your babies to thank God beginning at age one. Explain , with love why you pray.

2. Go on child guided walks with time and electronics left home. And love earth with them!

3. Read stories then talk about the message after. This is a powerful teaching  tool with a cuddle moment as a bonus.

4. Take care of something living together; a pet, a plant, a bird-feeder, ducks in a pond, worms that you give scraps, etc. We share the earth we don’t just take from it.

5. Give your baby a teeny chore that teaches them they can help and that work is fun. We all can help. It’s funnest to do work together.

6. You can never express too much gratefulness in conversation especially directed to those feelings for your baby.

*Gratefulness is a spirit derived from love. Practice with a loving intent is how it is best received.

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teaching the art of gratefulness

Having little Jane give auntie Sue a hug for giving her a present is teaching your child good manners on saying thank you.

But having little Jane learn how to be a grateful child is a long learning process that begins with mom and dad’s grateful heart. You must teach gratefulness by showing little Jane that you notice blessings in daily occurrences. You must show her and explain why.

Little children, like little Jane, are natural marvelers. They notice lots more things than adults who often loose their wonder because they are governed by time and more serious things. But Little Jane is noticing because everything is new to her. She is hardwired to learn about everything and why not begin with the dot on the sidewalk, right then.

But little Jane does not understand how to be grateful for the little dot until you tell her why it is so special. If you ignore wonderful things, or blessings, or amazing occurrences she will not know to be grateful for them. They will just be there as an entitlement with no connection.

A simple example at lunchtime: When my mother would make us sandwiches she would always make it from the inside pieces and then purposely chose the end pieces for her sandwich; even though there were other “good” pieces left. We all know the end of the bread are the two pieces no one wants. They are usually thrown out. But my mother grew up in a home with 12 mouths to feed and a very meager income. She and her brother would go to the back doors of the bakery’s pulling a red wagon and receive the day old or two day old bread that was usually fifty percent off. I did not ever have to worry about eating a piece of bread when I was a child. But my mother’s gratefulness for that end piece of bread was taught to me in a sweet way making sandwiches. She told me how she would wait for all of her siblings to chose their piece of bread and then she would chose, and most often it would still be a middle piece. But she would always notice that her mother would  take the end piece no matter if there were still good ones left. I asked her why. She replied, “My mother was always grateful for that bread to feed her little babies. No one wants the end pieces but they will eat the middles so she would take the ends so there will be middles left for everyone when they wanted them.” My mom said, “I want my family to eat the best parts of the bread and I am grateful I have bread to eat.” For some reason I always take the end when I make sandwiches. Just like my mom and grandma I learned the art of gratefulness. 

You are the ones who teach your children to be grateful human beings by noticing and telling them why our daily little tiny and big wonderful blessings are so special to us…

If you ignore your blessings around you so will they, and they will grow up ignoring them too. Gratefulness is not absorbed it is practiced and then taught.

God shows us

Have you ever thought about

how God chooses to open and close

every single day…

Sun rises come slowly, gently, and full of warmth and sparkle.

sun rise

Sun sets leave slowly, gently, calmly and comforting.

Sun set

Perhaps God tries to teach us

how we should welcome and close our days.

Especially with those we love the very most.

Because that is what he does.

 

Are you a monster?

Do you scare your child? Perhaps  not even realizing you do it?

Let’s face it the monster in us comes out in parenting no matter how great we are at it.

Which monster do you turn into most often?

1. Dracula-This is when we quietly watch our child do childish annoying things, but we are too weary, bored, or self absorbed to stop them but we accumulate the frustration like tiny droplets of blood, then in a furious frenzy that one thing tips our meter and we jump in for the bite completely unexpected. That kid never knew what bit him until it was too late–Scary!

2. The flipping Dr. Jeckyl/Mr. Hyde. This is when we are happy happy happy with our child then in an instant we turn “mad” or we are angry angry angry with our child then in an instant turn happy.  The child is constantly jittery not knowing when the monster will pop out for the scare.

3. The werewolf: When we howl and howl and howl and bear our ugly teeth and spit fowl breath over our children we think our children are getting our fierce message but if we keep making constant “noise” they tune out. But constant anger-yelping is just as bad as the bite and our kids stay in a constant state of overbearance and tension before they trasform into werewolves themselves on a full moon.

4. Godzilla: This is when we grab things out of hands, kick toys out of the way, and use our strength and size to show who is superior. We are so angry we use force to thrash around while yelling and breaking things up. Our children look up with horror just waiting for the Lego towers to come crashing down or Hot wheel cars to go flying, and for them to be next.

5.  The Zombie: This is when our child has broken us to near death, but not quite. We don’t want to smile cute anymore. We don’t want to hear the little laugh or wipe another bottom. We shuffle along in a stupor, moaning and dragging,  wishing to be dead instead of hearing another version of a Silly song or picture book. If we see one more big eyed stuffed animal or step on one more action figure we will rip it to shreds.  This is when we snap and grab our child to get them to stop acting  so human…It’s usually the most dangerous parenting monster to become. It’s when we “react” with any number of surprise scares for our child. And they don’t know when it is coming.

Halloween comes once a year and we allow monsters to get loose. But parent monsters, BEWARE! WE often are the very things that create the jitters for our own little beasts.

Officially Designated Protector of Monsters

If you think your trick or treat-er is not affected by the scaries of Halloween you are a parent that has forgotten your own childhood. Be soul-sensitive at this time!

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Children perceive scary things far different than adults with their “animistic thinking” (they perceive everything with real tendencies and cannot differentiate) and active imaginations. Something you think is not scary or can be dismissed in your adult mind as pretend can stick in their minds for years if not a lifetime.

Many adults think that they are toughing up their children or helping them work through fears by exposing them to terror that their immature minds are too young to handle developmentally. 

But silly you–       

In that little head of there’s they are making all sorts of frightening connective pictures and anxious dreams that WILL come out in other areas.

Protect your child’s soul and honor their childhood!

They need you to…

There is a difference between this:

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and this:

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A great beat-the-scare solution:

If you have one that is extra sensitive and find that you have got some monsters lurking around before bedtime, don’t dismay! A good mixture of potent monster spray, boiled up in one of your cauldrons, is guaranteed to rid creepy things under beds, in dark closets, in hallways or even to remove pesty brothers. Just pour the potion in a clean spray bottle and put it where you can grab it fast! Parents can help children even do a prevention pre-spray before bedtime or even take it with them in the car, just in case…

That stuff works wonders especially during this time of year.

You just never know when you will encounter a monster that you don’t like.

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With that said…

Why

would I continue

with a blog

on childhood

if

I just told parents

they

already

were

experts?

 

Because…

there is a mommy’s and daddy’s club on social media which allows us to laugh, cry, mock, tease, and even rant with a constant deluge of sarcastic, satirical, or emotional-reinforcement photos giving all of us suckers the recognition we feel we deserve for enduring this hellish life sentence we got ourselves into called parenting when we really only wanted a back rub. This blog is for the children.

Because…

someone has to remind those who forgot or are really really busy

that children are the very best things that could ever happen to the earth…

Because…

you know how to read.

 

You’re the expert

 

You may not feel it is true but you are an expert for your child.

All parents compare parenting skills.

All parents compare childhood milestones.

That chatter is everywhere and often makes us feel guilty.

Whether you are an Australian bush parent, a parent carrying a baby in the rice paddies, or a millennial parent juggling time…non of that really matters. As long as the child is safe, clean, healthy, loved, and thriving; your way is the best way to make that happen. There are as many unique parenting strategies as there are different parents.

You get your expertise in parenting with a  crash course on your first child. By the second child you are a pro. Each child comes with a whole new set of ingredients but you do have one thing– you know you can do this.

Choose the course that fits who you are as a parent and live with your way. It may not be the way parents do it in Australia or in China or even next door, but it doesn’t matter as long as your child is loved and thriving.

You are the expert parent, exactly right for your child. Be proud of yourself!