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Gratitude in Parenting: Take It or Leave It

It's the time of the year when having gratitude seems to take on an urgency and it often makes us wonder:

Is gratitude a seasonal thing, like pumpkin spice lattes?

Our inboxes are filled with emails encouraging gratitude in all its forms from being the best new approach to self-help, to the seasonal implication of the imperativeness of gratitude and of course the necessity to kick start the daily gratitude journal if only to confirm that we live in a place of gratitude.

In parenting, daily gratitude can be difficult to say the least. We often find gratitude in perspective and sometimes a day in parenting is so difficult, that trying to have perspective can create more stress and drive us to sit in a place of comparative suffering while minimizing the feelings we need to acknowledge and feel.

If gratitude isn’t readily available to you in these moments, maybe permission can be. In those difficult moments can we give ourselves permission to decide if we are going to lean into gratitude or not? When we acknowledge that having gratitude can be really hard, especially in those parenting moments where the lens is so clear that the difficult situation you are facing isn’t going away anytime soon, it may be the time to consider leaving gratitude at the door and come back for it later, even if you come back to it out of season.

Giving yourself permission to feel the feelings you are experiencing before you start navigating your way through them is crucial. Additionally, consider the importance of giving yourself permission to utilize the tools you know you have, in the moment, or giving yourself permission to step away because you need more time for you, before you give it to someone else.

In our book H.O.M.E., Strategies for Making Home a SUCCESS during and after treatment, we talk about accepting the invitation. This is the invitation to take a deep look at what matters most to you and to find the words or phrases that keep you focused. It is the reminder that you deserve time to prioritize yourself as you strive for clarity, balance and potentially daily gratitude. We also spend an entire section writing about the importance of the Sacred Pause for parents.

No matter where you are your the process of change with your child and your family, we encourage any parent to find the time to read and savor Part 2 of our book where you are offered the opportunity and time to own, to restore your rhythms and routines, to reset your intentions, learn how to budget your emotional currency and to master your healthy practices.

When gratitude is hard in the moment and you need to take the space or even a different path to find your way back to it, with or without a pumpkin spice latte in hand, remember you can create ease for yourself by just accepting the invitation to do so.

“I accept the invitation to own, with radical honesty, where I am today, in this moment and what I need to do to move myself forward to the place that I want to be.”


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Solutions Parenting Support, LLC is a nationally recognized parent support and transition program assisting parents and families with straightforward and compassionate skills based support prior to, during and after wilderness therapy and/or residential treatment. Solutions is a dynamic team of parent coaches who have had extensive careers as therapists in wilderness therapy or residential treatment before turning their talents towards coaching parents around the globe. The team is family system focused and are licensed professional therapists and/or social workers each with 15-30 years of experience working in wilderness therapy programs, varying levels of residential treatment programming, and transitional support.

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