Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions
Enter now to win a FREE visit to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Teach Your Kids to Appreciate the Little Things


Taking the time to smile upon the good things in your life will help you (and your children) keep perspective.

mom and daughter holding a flower

It's April, and spring has finally sprung! The sun is shining and flowers, bursting with color, are pushing up through the warming ground. Life is insanely busy, but for just two minutes go ahead and jump off the merry-go-round, and take a deep breath. Appreciate nature's miraculous offerings of the season. Now, do you think you can do this for a couple of minutes every day? I'd like you to try it!

It's so easy to get caught up in our busy, aggravating, stressful, and sometimes even mundane lives that we don't always take the time to appreciate the beauty in our children; nor do we take the time to teach them to appreciate the positive in their own lives.

To begin your daily two minutes of reflection, ask yourself this question: "As a parent, what am I most grateful about today?" Is it the sweet kiss that you got as you left for work? That, just this once, your teenager didn't argue with you? That siblings helped each other with homework?
little boy giving mother a flowerSome days the answer will come easily to you - in fact, you may have a long list that makes you feel grateful. However, on more stressful parenting days, feeling appreciative of your child may be somewhat more challenging. These are the days it is most important to stop for a moment to ask yourself the question - and then really search until you find a meaningful answer. Doing so will help you keep a clear perspective on what is most important in your life as a parent. No matter how upset, angry, or frustrated you may be right now, you can find the beauty in your relationship with your child when you stop and look for it. You simply have to take the time to stop and do so.
This is also an important skill to teach your child. Begin by helping him ask himself the following question each night before going to sleep: "What was the best thing about today?" Was it that we had outdoor recess? Am I happy because I made a new friend? Did I have my favorite lunch? Did the teacher give me a compliment? Did I get my homework done really quickly?



Of course, as with parents, kids will have an easier time on some days than on others finding the "best" in their day. If it was a difficult day, it will be harder for your child to find the good in it. This is when it is most important for you to help your child find something positive about the day - don't accept "nothing" for an answer.
You probably realize that being a good parent is hard work largely due to regular challenges from the very child you are trying to raise! So take a little time each day to appreciate the true beauty in your child (and also teach your child this skill). This will help melt away the frustrations you may feel as you go through the tough parts!

 

Dr. Susan Bartell is a nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Her latest book is "The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask." You can learn more about Dr. Bartell at www.drsusanbartell.com.



Also see: How to Stay Motivated This Spring

How to Raise Optimistic Kids

How to Raise a Generous and Appreciative Child


Want more content like this? Great Family Activities Sent To You!


More Health Articles:

Everything You Need to Know About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine in New York

Updated March 31: Here's what you need to know about how to get the COVID-19 vaccine in New York City and throughout New York State.


Latest News:

How to Get Kids to Eat Veggies

Here's how to get kids to eat veggies and other tips for helping them establish healthy eating habits.


Family Activities:

Register for Inaugural AHA Middle School Open House

Academy of the Holy Angels Apr. 21, 2021

Registration for the Inaugural Academy of the Holy Angels Middle School Open House is underway. S...



Have a Laugh:

Best Memes of the Week for Parents

Here are the funniest parenting memes from Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit this week.
Susan Bartell, Psy.D.

Author:

Susan Bartell, Psy.D., is a Long Island-based, nationally recognized child psychologist, speaker, and award-winning author. Dr. Bartell is a media expert, frequently seen on CBS, ABC, FOX, and CNN. She is the author of seven books, including the highly-acclaimed The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask. You can learn more about her at drsusanbartell.com or follow her on Twitter @drsusanbartell.

See More

Featured Listings:

Fairy LiceMothers

Fairy LiceMothers

Fairy LiceMothers are dedicated to eliminating the persistent lice problem and educating the community on the use of safe and effective lice treatment...

A-Game Sports

A-Game Sports

New Rochelle, NY A-Game Sports was founded in 2013 by two guys who decided that it was time to do what they truly love in life. Since then, A-Game Sports has made the ...

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

White Plains, Lice Clinics of America Long Island ends the nightmare of lice by dehydrating lice and their eggs in one single 60 minute lice removal treatment. Our ...