a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Friday, February 7, 2014

It is Important to Teach Your Children . . . the Attitude of Gratitude

When we received the annual thank you notes from some of our grandkids this past Christmas we noticed, while still short and to the point,  they were more thoughtful than the usual “thanks for _________. I love it.”

We later learned they had written their notes following a family discussion on gratitude.

What a wonderful idea for a family discussion.

What an extremely important discussion, for all of us,  in this era of entitlement.

With a little self-awareness we can teach gratitude by example.

Example is the most powerful form of teaching.  It keeps anyone from claiming  they can't hear what we are saying because what we are doing is  overpowering what we are saying.

When I was a young teenager I made a notice for my bedroom. I'm not sure where I originally read it but I know it spoke to me and. . .           

it hung there until I moved away.

From Entitlement to Thankful: Raising Children with an Attitude of Gratitude is an recent article by Dr. David Sack in the Parents section of the Huffington Post.

"It isn't until later in life that most people discover one of the keys to happiness: gratitude. The concept of thankfulness can be difficult for adults to embrace, and even harder for children and teens who believe the world revolves around them.
"There are so many valuable qualities we want to instill in our children -- why should we focus on gratitude? Grateful teens are not only more pleasant to be around, but according to one study, they are also less likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, be depressed and have behavioral problems at school.
"While some people may be blessed with a natural inclination toward thankfulness, for most of us gratitude is learned. By learning gratitude, children become sensitive to the feelings of others, developing their innate capacities for empathy and altruism, whereas entitled kids end up feeling perpetually disappointed."
Dr. Sack further states "Sometimes in our efforts to instill gratitude, we use approaches that look similar to gratitude but have unintended negative effects" which include Threats, Comparisons, Indebtedness, Flattery,
and Manipulation.  It is amazing ( and disconcerting and frightening) to discover what we often unintentionally do or say and the messages we are sending.

He follows with the recipe for Authentic Gratitude with ingredients including:   Share the Gift of Giving, Teach Family Values, Start a Family Tradition,  Assign Age-Appropriate Tasks, Serve Others, and Practice Mindfulness.

I highly suggest putting his article on your must read list. His recommendations are simple things that can/will make a world of difference.


A few weeks ago I ran across another message that spoke to me.  It is posted on the mirrors in our bathrooms as a constant reminder.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Help for Loved Ones of Addicts and Alcoholics -- the Beginning

inspired (and I choose that word on purpose) to give a talk in church on addiction as it relates to choice and consequence, or as we call it, agency and accountability. Following that meeting a number of people came up to us and shared, with sad relief that they too had a loved one with similar problems. They felt that they were alone in their dilemma. As we became involved with more families of addicts we have found a distressing number of families like ours.

  As Gail stated in last Friday's blog, that talk turned into a small booklet "The Best Help is No Help."
  On Wednesdays we will be sharing its contents along with the additional insights we continue to learn.Hopefully you will find things of value.

The entire booklet consists of 42 pages and includes:

 1. A Weighty Matter
 2. What Do You Know About Agency?
 3. Agency in the Garden of Eden
 4. Freedom Isn't Free
 5. So What?
 6. What Have We Learned So Far?
 7. Hard Questions
 8. And Hard Answers
 9. No Respecter of Persons
10. Boundaries = Rules = Commandments
11. While Not Curable - Definitely Controllable (but not by us)
12. We're in This Together
13. The Learning Curve
14. The Dilemma
15. How is That?
16. Just This One More Time!
17. Facts From Fiction
18. In a Nut Shell
19. Onward

If you are one of the many in this situation, please "tune in" to
the Wednesday Edition.

And while we are simply Gail and Dave we also know life isn't always simple.