"Thank you" goes a loooooong way! Teaching children gratefulness is the best thing adults can do, role models or not.
I teach Sev to appreciate everything, and by teach him, I mean try my hardest to practice what I preach.-- being visual representation of someone who is grateful, not bitter or angry.
So, I got us both Gratitude journals (I'll do an article on my own soon.) These journals, not only, change a toddler's life, but encourages your child to think about what truly makes them happy, and TEACHES THEM TO WRIITE!!!
I sit with Sev in his car bed and complete one page of his gratitude journal, before his bedtime story.
The questions are like, "What made you happy today?" "Who did you thank?" "What are you thankful for?"
I ask Sevyn the questions aloud and try to help him understand his emotions. On lots of the pages, there is space for to draw something that makes you happy and Sev drew a car the other night. Obviously he still loves cars. But, it was nice to see him articulate that on his own.
I write out whatever answers he gives me, for him to trace over and spell aloud. He doesn't feel like it's a school task and is usually excited to talk about his favorite foods and toys. I am aiming to do this every single night.
Encouraging little one's to focus on things that bring them joy is beautiful. This gets them relive their joyful moments. As they grow, they will likely be more inclined to entertain experiences and people who ADD to the happiness they already have created for themselves.
Sev loves to tell his funny stories when I about things that make him laugh. He alwaysss bursts out laughing!!
Laughing together gives us a chance to bond before bed. I learn a lot about how his brain works when I let him tell his own stories. Sometimes, Sev is simply grateful for a hot wheels car, his (same-aged uncle and aunt), pizza, or putting his pajamas on by himself.
Journaling with my toddler has made me start pointing the finger at my own self and recognize habits that I need to, both, develop and get rid of.
Sev is getting the gist of the different emotions we can feel. And as he learns, I try to guide him toward healthy ways to deal with the many situations he will live through.
When I'm feeling upset, Sev often prompts me to close my eyes and count since we have been meditating together a few times a month. Other times, he raises his voice and shows his frustration. This is not a him problem, this is a me problem; and, I have no problem talking things out and apologizing to my 4-year-old when I am too strict. If I were consistent in my emotions, I assume my son would be as well.
Definitely, working on that.
Now, back to the gratitude journal, it is a great way to spend quality time with the little people running around your house at the end of the night, especially if you had a tough day.
Spending a few moments to bask in the reasons you enjoy motherhood will bring peace and love.
Time spent with a trusted adult is the one thing every child should be guaranteed in life.
Go get your baby a journal right now! Holla.
- Shutup, Shabetti.