Thursday, November 24, 2011

Change Your Kids' Attitude With Gratitude

It seems like a cliche to say we should be "cultivating gratitude" -- an overly Oprah-esque prescription for complicated times.  Often, I think my children should be more grateful when I'm perceiving them as selfish, which makes gratitude a virtue rather than a practice.  Also, telling someone to be more grateful rarely yields that particular result.  I am also sometimes embarrassed by gratitude; as a political thinker, there is so much to be worried about and something in my ethic makes it easy for me to emphasize "that which should be different" over "that which is already just fine."  Grace recently pointed out, "Mom, you're mad about too much" -- that isn't how I want her to think about my activism!  I have no problem waxing enthusiastic about FSP, though -- truly, I am so grateful for the school, the teachers, the community - all of us together working to create a space where children can engage in "joyful learning"and adults, too, can use our gifts to benefit the whole.  I am grateful that my kids have recess, twice a day, even my 7th grader.  I am grateful that they have male teachers who model nurturing, interesting, authentic masculinities - with a commitment to nonviolence. I am grateful that they have teachers who love the outdoors and share that love freely. I am grateful for all the singing.  Mostly, I am grateful that both of my children (and all of our children) are held in community and as individuals and in the light.  Thank you FSP!

Gratitude  Sites 

Greater Good Parenting (where the above video is from) 
Thanksgiving Specific post from imagination soup - replacing stereotypes of history with new traditions & narratives
Learning to Give has lesson plans and book recs