Gratitude: Inspiring a Thankful School Community

Mr. B, an inspiring principal at one of our schools, uses ParentSquare to send out blog-style leadership messages to his school. This week for Thanksgiving, we wanted to share his ParentSquare post about Gratitude. Feel free to share with your school community.

HABIT OF THE WEEK - GRATITUDE

Did you know that one of the smartest things we can do is to be thankful? Neuroscientists have proven that an ounce of gratitude can lead to clearer thinking, better sleeping, less stress, and smarter decision making. The release of positive neurotransmitters in our brains, as a result of choosing to think gratefully, is remarkable. Like so many great things in life, choosing to be grateful is as simple as thinking about it. Asking our brains to recall people, places, things, and ideas that we are thankful for will release chemicals in our brain that will improve our wellbeing immediately. There is power in gratitude and it is only a thought away. Stop! Think about something you are grateful for. Did you sense the sensation of joy, happiness, and wellbeing? This is the juice that satisfied and successful people live on. Unfortunately, the same is true if we think of the negative things in life. These thoughts breed distraught.  It’s a choice. Choose wellness :-) Check out 10 Ways to Become More Grateful.

It’s sure easy to grumble and complain about the challenges and obstacles of the day. When I find myself slipping down the slippery slope of self pity, a simple reminder about my faith, my family, and the joy getting to be Mr. B can stop me in my tracks and get me back to a positive frame of mind. What I have learned about this slippery slope is that sometimes I have to consciously choose to stop the slide and force my brain to consider a more positive path. Being grateful is an easy way to remind ourselves that our lives are filled with wonderful people, opportunities, and a place to live. 

Habit Practice Tips:

  • What are you thankful for: WRITE IT - READ IT - SAY IT!
  • Heart: Have a family meal and share what you are grateful for in each other.
  • Mind: Write a thank you note to someone.
  • Body: Donate clothing items to Coats for Kids or food items to Loaves and Fishes.
  • Soul: Think and discuss what gifts and talents you have to give away.

"Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings". - William Arthur Ward

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

Gratitude breaks the barriers of discontent and allows us to remember our vision and reconcile our differences. 

Parenting Links

The Gratitude Experiment

How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Spoiled

Disciplining (Teaching) our Children Say what you want, not what you don't want!

One of the most effective approaches to parenting our children is to direct them toward what we want them to learn instead of telling them what we don’t want them to learn. Speaking in a positive manner has a much more productive effect than speaking in a negative one. The next time your child makes a mistake, frame your response with words that expresses what they should do, not what they shouldn’t do. For example, instead of saying “don’t forget to _____”, say to them, “remember to _____” . Tell their brain what you expect. “Speak with good purpose” is a much more productive statement than - “don’t say that”. Use the habits we share each week as the positive and productive message. "Manage your impulsivity, think gratefully, be kind, have courage", etc.. will force the positive directive instead of the negative. We want their brains to collect positive and productive thoughts. When we speak in the affirmative, positive thought patterns will follow.