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Increasing Your Gratitude for What You Have

Six steps to feel more thankful for what you have

Don't hide your gratitude. Be bold and confident enough to share your thanks for special people in your life. Here are some simple tips to express your gratitude with your kids and family members.

1. Keep a gratitude journal. Write down, on a daily basis, some small and large things that you're grateful for. Reflect on ordinary or simple areas, including watching your children fall asleep or having a quiet moment to take a bubble bath. Make sure that you include things pertaining to your children. Each Thanksgiving, consider reading your entries from the previous year.

2. State your thanks. At the Thanksgiving table, ask each person to offer a couple of things that he or she is thankful for. This is a wonderfully simple ritual that can be part of your Thanksgiving tradition for years to come. Make sure that your sentiments include thankful remarks about your children. Or offer your thanks in a card or note. It's lasting and meaningful – and, for your kids, they'll become cherished keepsakes.

3. Remain grateful – even during challenging times. Share with your family some of the more difficult times you've personally gone through in life and how those times shaped you. Explain that these experiences helped you grow and have offered unique insights as well as opportunities for which you are grateful.

4. Give the gift of time. Too often, parents are so busy getting from point A to B that their kids can get the short end of the stick. Make time for them whenever and wherever you can. In the end, they'll be more grateful for the time you've given them than for the perfectly clean home or the lusciously-prepared meal. Gifts of time are the best gifts of all.

5. Turn gratitude into an attitude. Learning to be grateful and appreciative can change your view on life and be transformational as a result. Too often, we focus on things that aren't working out. Instead, focus on the positive and express to yourself and your family, gratitude for all the everyday blessings in your life. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll start feeling – and how people will notice your change in attitude. Best of all, it's contagious!

6. Show your children your love. Tell you kids you love them every day. Greet them in the morning with a smile and a kiss and remind them how much they are loved and valued. How great it is to start the day on such a loving note. Don't hide behind your work or your obligations or find excuses not to show your love. And remember, loving your children doesn't mean indulging them. Just offer expressions of love and caring whenever you can.

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