The Story of how Gratitude Leads to Hooray for Parenting!
In my long career as a psychotherapist and executive coach, I have always been inspired by new research and new insights into making a difference in peoples’ wellbeing and happiness. So when I discovered the new research on gratitude I began to read everything about it that I could get my hands on.
I used to think of gratitude as politeness, manners and a warm good feeling when nice things happened for me. It was about doing the right thing and insisting that my kids write thank you notes.
But then I began to understand gratitude as a deeper, more complex phenomenon than the simple art of saying thank you. I realized that cultivating a regular practice of gratitude and weaving it into every aspect of life contributes to better relationships, health, effectiveness and fulfillment. I even discovered that in other cultures, such as Japanese and Native American, reverence for the earth and gratitude are fundamental to the culture and therefore intertwined.
I started giving workshops and speaking on gratitude. Everyone loved the idea of gratitude, but had difficulty integrating the practice and discipline into their lives. I introduced the idea of reverence and gratitude for the environment but people had trouble making that connection. Human nature often gets in the way of being grateful. We are forgetful. We always want something more, something better, something different. We have pictures of the way things should be and we compare ourselves to others. We take things for granted in our daily lives and in our relationship to the gifts of nature.
However when we weave the practice of gratitude into the fabric of our lives we
are building our “gratitude muscles” and contributing to a world that works for others, our kids, ourselves and the environment.
The book, “Hooray for Parenting” as well as the companion workbook and online course “Mastering the Art of Raising Great Kids” are the outgrowth of my initial exploration into gratitude. In contrast. I have seen an explosion of trends and narratives that have been confusing and challenging to parents, grandparents, teachers and anyone concerned about our children’s future. Terms such as “discipline deficit disorder,” the age of entitlement,” “nature deficit disorder,” “throw away culture,” “texting, facetime preoccupation,” “kids rule,” “overly anxious,” “over stressed, overprogrammed” have become the focus of newspaper articles, books, talk shows and professional articles. Our focus is about transforming the condition of confusion and weave a new and empowering story for a new generation – a story of gratitude, sufficiency, satisfaction and reverence for people and the planet.