An attitude of gratitude can be a fundamental part of a family’s foundation.
Asking open ended questions is a great way to create conversation and curiosity. In a time when our ability to be present with each other is challenged by busy schedules and technology, asking questions to inspire gratitude creates a grateful family foundation.
When my children were growing up, one of the first questions I would ask them after school was, “What was the best part of your day?”
To answer this question, they needed to reflect a bit to respond.
“Though they eventually caught on and began anticipating the question, even the act of figuring out their response on their way home required some contemplation.”
This helped wire all our minds to look for the good.
That’s not to say we didn’t have our fair share of “not so good” as we grew together. It did mean we had a place to go to when it was messy, and many of those teenage years were.
6 Questions to Inspire Gratitude:
1. Tell me about the best part of your day. Why is it the best part of your day?
This will help prompt conversation around what is happening in your loved one’s worlds. Often, the good stuff allows you to see the shadows more clearly.
When you can see the areas that are not as you would like them through the lens of gratitude, it makes them easier to deal with. By entering into this part of your life with an attitude of gratitude, solutions that were not available to us prior now are.
2. What modern convenience are you most grateful for?
This is a simple question that can help your whole family remember they are gifts, not entitlements.
This morning I was so thankful for my washer and dryer—the ease and time saving it offers to my life have often gone unnoticed.
Taking a moment to acknowledge these things helps you stay grounded. This groundedness enables your heart to remain open, and the little miracles that come through each and every day to be noticed and honored.
3. What is a tradition you take part in that you are grateful for and why?
This question helps you explore the history your family is bringing forward as traditions and enables some robust conversations about the ones you participate in without much thought.
My children were always so excited to hear the stories of how our traditions started, especially if they were ones passed down from their grandparents. They soon asked to start some new ones, which was always fun.
One of our favorite ones that came from these conversations are our Christmas Eve PJ’s and hot chocolate drive to look at Christmas lights.
4. What is a random act of kindness you have received or extended recently?
This is a fun question that will open the conversation around what kindness is and the value of it being random. Stay curious as to why they define kindness the way they do.
In the beginning, as you can imagine, it will be defined in ways they like to be treated. As they grow and start to understand the lack of kindness or hate around them, the definition of kindness becomes larger than their immediate surroundings.
This question is a great icebreaker in lots of situations. I bet it has you thinking right now about the last time your received or extended a random act of kindness.
5. What are you most thankful for about being you?
This is often one of the most challenging inquires. When your kids are young, it seems effortless and so true.
My daughter used to share she was thankful for how much she loved popcorn and how she could make her brother stop crying. How lovely is that?
As she grew, the world started to tell her she was “too much” of this, “not enough” of that, and this question started to have qualifiers. It was heartbreaking for a few years—those teenage years are tough.
Keep at it and push through so it is there for them when they need it most.
6. Imagine a world where we all had what we needed. What does this world look like? Feel like?
The ability to see a future in which your children can play a significant role in the things they value will assist them in navigating life while clarifying their purpose.
“The ability for young people to align the “who” they are to what they “do” is key to them living a life that is congruent with their values.”
Value systems and beliefs will be refined as they grow, and the ability to be true to who they want to be as this refining happens is key to their personal happiness and to our world at large.
These questions to inspire gratitude will help your family weave the fabric of gratitude into its foundation. The value of gratitude is so multi-faceted, you will be building virtues and resilience into your family structure that won’t be visible for years.
“The sense of entitlement so many of us say we see in our youth will be in check as gratitude is the antidote to entitlement.”
When your children and family are called to move through some of life’s tough times, there will be a strong resilience that will show up as a result of fostering a gratitude practice in your family.
To get started, pick a couple of the questions above and try them this month with your family. Create a time and space where you are all able to be technology free for this conversation, and enjoy where it takes you.
If it feels awkward that is okay, most new things do. Keep at it ,and enjoy the connection that comes forward as a direct result of your gratitude practice.
Inspire Gratitude In Your Family Every Day
The Trybal Gratitude Journal is an easy, family-friendly way to engage every member of your close and extended family in a gratitude practice. The easy-to-follow format combined with the free writing space caters to journalers of many methods and styles.
That means it’s just as simple and beneficial for mom as it is for the kids.
In fact, you can use the journal format as a guide for family discussions in the morning and at night! As your going through your morning routine, everyone can be thinking about their daily intention and share them at breakfast or on the ride to school. At dinner time, everyone can share their high-five to themselves or their magical moment.
However you choose to use it, adding the Trybal Gratitude Journal to your family’s fabric will bring you closer together. Over time, you’ll even notice less complaining. Even from your teenager :).
Click here to learn more about the journal and read reviews from people like you.