Recently, I've been struggling with Amira's perceived attitude. What I seem to hear most often is all the things she's unhappy about (i.e., I didn't get to watch my show, how come I always have to take a shower, I don't like my sandwich, I didn't get the right kind of Gold Fish crackers I like, etc.) Note: Most of the things she complains about are an after affect due to not voicing her desires or thoughts ahead of time. Almost as if waiting, then complaining.
Perhaps it's not that bad, but it's what my ears seemed to be attuned to lately, and quite frankly it bothers me. So, I decided to recently add another little "ritual" to our daily lives to see how that might change the mood direction. I asked her the other day what she was grateful for, and she asked me what "grateful" meant. So, I explained to her that it was our way of acknowledging all those things we are thankful for, for example---I'm thankful that the sun was shining today.
She proceeded to ask me why we needed to do that, and I explained because it's our way of acknowledging and thanking God for our countless blessings we receive everyday.
So, Tuesday, this week, on our way to school, I asked her "Ok, so tell me what you are thankful for today". Her response was, "I don't know, the day hasn't started yet". To which, I laughed and said, "baby the day started when you opened your eyeballs this morning". Then, I said, "I'm thankful for the beautiful birds that were singing this morning". She said, "can I tell you after school today?"
After dinner that evening I decided to ask once again, "so, what are you grateful for?" And the response I got was priceless.
Amira-"Can I first tell you what I'm not grateful for?" At this point I wanted to scream because I was getting so tired of this perceived negativity, but decided better. Decided I should allow her to express this thought, so she'd be free to express something positive.
Amira-"I'm not grateful I had to twirl the jump-rope all day at recess while the other kids jumped."
Amira-"I'm grateful I got Ms. Peggy this morning when we drove through the car line at school."
She rattled a few more off, then asked me what I was grateful for to which I shared. By the end of dinner there was a definitely change in attitude. Felt lighter.
Here's for being grateful!