Gratitude Builds Connection

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

Schools can strengthen students’ connections to teachers, schools and communities. Research done since 2006 suggests there is a free, simple, effective practice that can be placed into existing curriculum across subjects and grade levels: teaching gratitude. Here are some ideas for first steps:

  • Class meetings. Positive Discipline class meetings start with compliments. Often the compliments are a form of appreciation and gratitude. They build connection and empathy, too.
  • A gratitude journal. Have students keep a daily gratitude journal. Studies have shown that this single activity is connected to more optimism and life satisfaction, fewer physical complaints and fewer negative emotions.
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Gratitude is Good for You

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Tips & Tools

In the past decade, several long-term research studies have shown a strong connection between gratitude and greater social support and protection from stress and depression over time. It helps people stay happier and healthier. The studies suggest that gratitude in children helps them form, maintain and strengthen relationships as well as helping them feel connected to their community. Here are some ideas for growing “gratitude muscles” in your family. Children learn from our example.

  • Talk about being grateful out loud. It might sound like, “Thank you for” or “I’m grateful for.”
  • Include gratitude in your routines. You may
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Growing (Our) Character: Using the Practice of Gratitude, Centering and Forgiveness

Connection and love, Feelings and emotions, Mistakes yours and theirs, Mutual Respect, Self-care, Tips & Tools
The most challenging parenting moments for me are keeping my own emotional triggers in check when I am confronted with conflict involving my kids. Before I even realize I am acting from a place of emotion I am acting like the mother I so desperately do not want to be. I feel hot and tingly all over my body and, well, out of control. Guess what follows these mommy meltdowns? Shame. Shame that I can’t hold it together, that I am treating a person I love more than life itself in a way that makes them feel bad. Shame that I work to teach parents the principles of Positive Discipline and that I have failed, yet again, to embody those principles. Ick!
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‘Tis the Season

Connection and love, Growing Responsibility, Routines, Tips & Tools
We are about to enter what might be considered “the season of stuff (and stuffing)” and I’m not referring to the food you put inside your Thanksgiving turkey. How does this happen? Well, it does feel good to give to others and it is wonderful to connect with friends and family around a full table of food. But there are other forces at work here. My sense is that in this part of the year when the days are shorter (in the northern hemisphere) we tend to lose our collective compass about what is really important in our lives. We take our cue from others and wonder if we are doing or buying or having enough. The media makes a push for spending money on things and fancy food. What would happen if we paused and asked ourselves what really matters in the long run?
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Gratitude and Generosity

Connection and love, Routines, Tips & Tools

Contributed by Jody McVittie, MD, Executive Director, Sound Discipline, Certified Positive Discipline Lead Trainer and Parent Coach

As the leaves begin to turn vibrant colors and then fall we enter the season of short days and longer nights. It is also, for many of us, a season of holidays and traditions. It can be both exciting and stressful for families. Now, before things start moving really quickly is a time to pause and think about what you might want to remember. Traditions are important for families – partly because in the ritual “doing” we come to a place of finding …

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