With a smile on her face, climbing up her “new” jungle gym, my daughter said, “Wasn’t it nice of the neighbors to give this to me!” “It sure was,” I told her. She then proceeded to ask, “Why did they give it to me?” To which I responded, their children outgrew it, so they thought you would like it. “Wow, that was very thoughtful!” Quinn informed me. “Yes, it sure was.” I said.
More and more frequently, I hear people talk about how it’s a cruel world and that everyone is out for themselves or how so many people, especially the younger generations, have an attitude of entitlement. While it may be somewhat true, I sincerely do not believe all people are this way. I have been trying my best to instill positive values such as gratitude and hopefulness rather than entitlement and hopelessness in my four year old daughter, so it warms my heart each time she not only utters the phrase thank you but expresses her gratitude by acknowledging how thoughtful the other person is. I always tell her that when people do something nice or out of the kindness of their hearts, it must be acknowledged because they did not have to do anything.
Just yesterday, my uncle asked her is she wanted to help frost a pink lemonade cake for the July 4th cookout, and she was so excited and said, “Uncle David picked me to help with the cake! That was very nice of him.” After helping, she told him, without me coaching her, “Thank you for allowing me to help decorate the cake, Uncle David.”
I truly believe gratitude goes further than we think and that one is never too young or too old to display it. The world is not so cruel as long as we contribute some positivity towards it. I hope I am modeling a behavior where my daughter will continue to feel the same way I do well into adulthood.
All the best,