Thought for the weekend – our response matters

I thought I would share the quote that has been sitting on my desk this week. I found it helpful as an adult, and yet it is something older kids can ‘get’ too.

“Everyday, each of us faces the difference between how we want things to be and how they really are.  What makes us succeed or fail is how we respond to those differences.”
Jeff Goins

IMG_1057

 

Is it ok to be thankful for that?

My 8 year old has been in the habit of off-loading his ‘worries’ before he goes to sleep at night. Lately I noticed that off-loading did not seem to make much difference, so I decided to do the opposite and bounce back and forth between us things that we were grateful for.

images

photo credit: bloggingforjobs.com

To start off with he couldn’t think of anything, so I started with “I am thankful for bedtime.” He then bounced back with “I am thankful for family.”
As I was lying on the bed next to him and the fluffy quilt had just been put back on the bed due to it becoming colder in our part of the world, I was grateful for the soft-feeling, cosy warm quilt. Josiah paused and looked at me and commented, “can you be thankful for little things like that?”

IMG_2090

I was quite surprised. As a family we have often talked about what we are grateful for and somehow in Josiah’s head it had to be something ‘big’ or there was a certain standard the thankfulness had to reach.

images

Photo Credit: fandomitis.wordpress.com

This then reminded me of the way we can live life for the ‘big’ things and miss the little everyday things that actually make up life.

..the big moments are the tiny moments. The breakthroughs are often silent,
and they happen in the most unassuming of spaces.
(The Inbetween, Jeff Goins)

With my boy, I need to learn and practice that the thankfulness is not always for the big things, but for the little things that make up the world around us. Those little things that are so easy to miss and yet are so much of our world.

May you have time this weekend to be grateful for the little things and share them with those around you.

images

Photo Credit: littlethingsmatter.com

Grit, change and stories!

The first week back at school is always exhausting for parents and children. There are new teachers to be met, new routines, the brain needs to click into a different gear and everyone has to be out the house early in the morning!

index

Photo Credit: youcanbeatms.com

Thus, it was no surprise when my 8 year old had a major melt done last night. It was that extra 30 minutes in the pool that tipped him over! After the tears were shed that mercifully produce the endorphines that help the body feel better we had a conversation that was so interesting and exciting for me.  I came out the room and informed my husband – “this positive psych stuff really works”!

Thursday I was listening to a great TED talk by Angela Duckworth on grit. (If you have time take a listen, it is 6 minutes long.) I have written about grit on a number of occasions as researchers are finding out that it is a big indicator of success. Unfortunately little is know about teaching grit, but they do know that young children can be taught practical things about how their brain works and this helps. At times I share with my own kids what I am reading and how it plays out in life trying to help them make links in their brains.

gritpic

My 8 year old, after his meltdown mentioned that he wanted to change. He didn’t want to feel frustrated and upset at bed time anymore. It had just happened that I had recorded what I thought was a great quote to be retrieved when needed and here was the moment –

“transformed – not in Hollywood ways that we sometimes expect,
but quietly and slowly as most change occurs” Jeff Goins

The 8 year old nodded in understanding, but it didn’t stop there.
“Mum it is like that story you told us about the English cycling team where they decided to change everything by 1%. They changed small things like the food they ate, bits of their bikes and then it worked, they had success.”

I was stunned. That story had been told weeks ago by James Clear on his blog, but somehow the links were being made in this little boy.

images

Photo credit: kelly-waters.me

So, what a great encouragement for me and you.
Let’s tell our classes, our own kids about interesting brain facts.
Let’s tell them that change is often slow but that is ok.
Let’s tell them that along the way we will need grit and that grit is worth ‘gritting’ for.
Let’s tell them that failure is not permanent and we keep going.
And, let’s tell stories that have meaning. Stories are so powerful!