Motherhood, Marriage and Other Wild Rides

Health, Happiness and the Pursuit of Mommyhood

Create a family gratitude tradition for a happier life September 3, 2009

Gratitude in our homes helps us feel connected. Encourage your kids to show their gratitude at family mealtimes by creating a centerpiece for the dinner table.

  • Recycle a used aluminum pie plate by affixing candles to it by melting the candle into the plate and pushing the candles into it. (Note: Little ones should make a centerpiece without candles.)
  • Surround the candles with natural treasures, such as rocks, leaves or pinecones, in lieu of store-bought items.
  • Each evening, light the gratitude candles (or place a small card inscribed with the words “thank you” among the treasures). Each person then takes a turn thanking someone in their life: a friend, grand-parent, co-worker, school bus driver, mail carrier, store clerk… whoever helps make life run more smoothly.
  • Take a moment to make peace. If there is a squabble or quarrel between siblings or family members, choose to forgive one another and let go. This can be as simple as saying, “I’m sorry,” and “I forgive you”–hugs optional! This powerful gesture should be encouraged but not enforced; forgiveness works best when modeled sincerely by parents.

This meaningful ritual reminds us of the importance of gathering together at mealtime, sharing our lives with one another, and reassures our children of the strength and comfort the family unit provides. In many instances, beginning a tradition helps reset negative habits of eating on the run or forgetting to stop and listen to one another, and also helps nip sibling squabbles before they escalate.

For more info: Wayne Parker has some great ideas for encouraging the spirit of gratitude.

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2 Responses to “Create a family gratitude tradition for a happier life”

  1. […] Rebecca Lacko wrote an interesting post today onCreate a family gratitude tradition for a happier life <b>…</b>Here’s a quick excerpt […]

  2. […] Read the original post: Create a family gratitude tradition for a happier life … […]


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