Have you ever noticed how much easier it sometimes is to file a complaint than to feel gratitude? If so, you’re not alone.
Sometimes it just feels more natural, or it just comes easier, to focus on what isn’t right than what is, what we don’t have than what we do, those who don’t like us than those who care deeply.
Well, it’s no different for our children. In fact, if we are not pretty proficient in expressing our own gratitude, if we are not mostly optimistic and positive ourselves, then we may have inadvertently modeled some complaining, negativity, or resentment for our kids. They may have learned by our example.
As we reorient ourselves, I want to suggest a simple exercise that may help our children as well, create some great conversation, nurture gratitude and positivity, and maybe even bring some more restful sleep.
One of the men in my great dad coaching small group shared something very cool with us last week. It’s something he is currently doing with his two teenage sons. And the results sounded so great I had to share it with you. He calls it simply, “Three Good Things.”
Here’s how it works. He said that some time in the evening, it could be at dinner, later that night, even at bedtime, he asks his boys individually, “What are three good things that happened today?” So simple, yet so important, and in some ways, profound. That simple question opens his sons’ minds to rethink their day, to look back with the purpose of searching out what was good, and choosing to express it in a way that nurtures gratitude. That one question can help produce positivity.
I decided I’m going to do that with my boys as well. When I talk to them in the evening, I’m simply going to ask, “What are three good things that happened today for you?” Starting this Friday, all three of my boys will be staying with me for ten days. I can hardly wait! I’m planning to ask them every day this great question and just see where it takes us.
I hope to train myself, and my boys at the same time, to remember that there is always something to be grateful for. Sometimes we just need to think about it for a moment.
To read more from Keith, take a look at his book: