I'm Be.

This is a blog about my life in Charlotte. I am a wannabe fire eater, compulsive reader, secret artist, beginner gardener, ninjalike organizer, and TERRIBLE speller.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


How do you raise children to be grateful? Is it a learned behavior? Can children even grasp the concept?

I have had the same New Year's resolution for the past three years-to write more letters. As with most resolutions this did not happen...until this year. I decided that I would start sending letters to the people who have impacted my life and thank them. Have you ever really thought back on all the people who have helped you get to where you are? It is a very humbling activity because you realize that you could not have gotten where you are without the help of friends and family. I have only checked a handful of people off my list, but I am still working on it. I hope that it will be a practice that I keep for the rest of my life.

As I have worked on my letters, the larger concept of gratitude began to intrigue me. Mainly, I wonder if true gratitude is something that you can't begin to appreciate until you are old enough to understand the world outside of you. Children (and let's be honest- some adults) only see how things affect them and everything is in direct proportion to themselves. This is a basic physiologic development. I think back and although I was appreciative of things while growing up, I didn't really have a deep down sense of gratitude. Maybe it boils down to whether or not someone feels entitled. I am not sure.

So, I digress back to the original question...is it possible to instill your child with a sense of gratitude or does it naturally develops over time? It is such an important value to me and I want to be able to raise Nonie to understand that life will bless you and life will challenge you. Either way, the lessons you learn have to be appreciated. More and more I have begun to feel that in order to be happy you have to recognize the small part you place in the grand scheme. But, like the smallest cog in a wristwatch, it won't run without your contribution.


  1. I have been driven by balance my entire life, with greater and lesser success in acheiving it. Through this perspective, gratitude must also be balanced. It should not come from a perspective of inferiority or superiority to others. I've experienced people whose sense of entitlement seems to preclude an understanding or appreciation for the contributions that have brought them to where they are in life. I've also experienced those at the other end of the spectrum, who don't seem to understand their own contributions to their life circumstances. The victims.

    Coming back to the original question of how to instill a sense of gratitude in a child, I don't know that I have an answer. I do know that it is tied to a sense of wonder and delight at simply walking this earth, to having the opportunity of experiencing both the good and the bad, and to believing that what we put out into the universe (or society) impacts ourselves and others. It is the ability to somehow see it all as a whole.

    Whatever it is, it is apparent to me from this blog that I was able to instill it in my child.

  2. Funny you should post this. Just a few nights ago I was having trouble calming myself to fall asleep and rembered making gratitude lists. Each night since I have been going through a list with Maisy when I put her to bed. I don't think she has a clue what the word gratitude means, but she will learn.
    I have so many thoughts on this subject, but don't have the typing skills to keep up with my brain. I hope to teach her gratitude and appreciation. I hope to not spoil her in a way that hinders her instead of helps her. I hope to teach her to respect herself and others. And I hope she knows that we will always have what we need. Anyway, I like your post and mom, I like your response.