How is Gratitude Growing with Us

One of the things that I would say to your children and to my children is that they know that our goal is to set them up to win no matter what. Like, whatever input we’re going to give to them, there isn’t an agenda. The agenda is so that “You can win in that,” that you can grow through those things together, that you, if it’s a relationship thing or if it’s another thing, that you’re going to win, and that you continue to create a victorious life, a joy-filled life, and a life where you’re contributing, you’re living out your purpose, and you’re happy.

There’s nothing more satisfying as a parent than seeing your children filled with joy. I mean, why is Christmas so exciting every year? Because it was the pure joy on their faces. And being able to sneak gifts in because they didn’t know what they were getting and pretending like they weren’t going to get them. And then seeing their faces in the morning, they said, “Ah, you did get it for me.” Because all that time, like, don’t think you know what you’re getting because you don’t. Because if you do, I’m taking it back. I even find holidays more challenging now that our children have gotten older. Here’s what I find most challenging: how expensive they are now that they’re older. It’s like, the older they get, the bigger the toys. The bigger the toys, the more they cost. But you know what? Here’s also what I’ve noticed: how much gratitude my boys have. Like, the older they get, the more gratitude they have. They realize what it takes to be able to do what we did. And every time I do things for them, they’re like, “Mom, you don’t have to do this.” And I said, “You know what? You’re right, I don’t.”

There was an opportunity growing up that I wasn’t able to take advantage of. I wasn’t in the same place in my life. And I have an amazing husband now, and together we’re able to give all six of our kids a nice life. And it’s because we get to; it’s not because we have to. And that was a huge distinction for our kids; it allowed us to receive it with gratitude. But here’s the lesson I got this year at Christmas: I also realized that my definition of how people show gratitude is not their definition. And that was literally the gift I got this Christmas. I would get frustrated, like, “You’re not taking care of it. You just left it on the floor. You’re not grateful.” And then I realized, just because I would show gratitude that way does not mean that they’re not grateful. And who am I to sit here and judge them and say, “You’re not grateful! ” Instead of appreciating and asking them, “I can see you’re grateful. What would gratitude look like for you now?” I mean, when they’re four and five, it’s like a big hug. And as I got older, they’re like, “Thank you, mom.” Like, I know that this took thought, and getting this, I really appreciate it. Like, it just shifts. And even with us adults, we show gratitude in different ways.

Listen to the full episode here:

“Cherished Connections: Cultivating Love and Traditions Across Generations” | with Cindy Gould

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