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Attitude of Gratitude

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

People often speak about the importance of routines and consistency for kids as they develop. As a former elementary educator, I built my entire school day around these types of routines. Parents understand what I mean. You have built your own routines into your kids' lives: brushing teeth, washing hands, breakfast/lunch/dinner, doing homework, and more. But what if I told you that the physical routines of the material world are not the only ones you can help cultivate in your children.

Saying Thank You is great, but Being Thankful is even better!

Daily routines can include mental and psychological habits too - habits that will help bring emotionally stability and balance to your family and their day to day activities. In Ancient India, these types of behaviors were called Dinacharya, and the concept is a part of the larger body of science called Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is the world's oldest system of healing, created centuries ago of the belief that wellness is more than simply not dying or being sick. To the practitioner of Ayurveda thousands of years ago, spiritual health was equally important. Nowadays, in our modern world of hustle and bustle, it is more and more difficult to achieve such a balance. Most people do not take the time to meet their own physical needs, let alone their psychological and spiritual ones. Kids, with their busy schedules, may need the most attention when it comes to balancing their lives. You can help!

The primary routine is giving thanks. The development of an attitude of gratitude is the kind of skill that will pay your kids back in dividends on their journey toward adulthood. It seems simple enough, yet many people don't think about it much. Kids repeat what they hear, so if Mom and Dad are complaining about bills or neighbors the kids will pick up on those habits as well. It is easy to be negative and complain; giving thanks takes more effort.

Take a moment, every day, with your entire family to talk about what you are all grateful for (this doesn't only have to happen before Thanksgiving dinner). Older children could write their entries down in a diary or journal. Younger children could draw pictures, which could be hung on the fridge or walls of your home as reminders. Your entire family could work together to turn a small corner of your house into an altar of gratitude.

When it comes to your yoga practice, heart opening poses like Fish Pose, Camel Pose, and Cobra Pose will assist your kids in opening themselves up to thanks. You could also inject an intention at the beginning of the practice, or include a mudra. Anjali Mudra, for example, is all about offering yourself up to the universe. A verbal intention, or at the very least awareness of an inner intention would also achieve the same result. Show your kids that you are grateful for all that you have and they will share in that gratitude.


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