I’ve found another family mantra, bloom where you are planted. We’ve been discussing this one with our girls all week. We’ve touched on this over the years, but this week it hit home when we went on vacation with a few other families. This vacation included a day at a low-key amusement park, a dinner show, lots of shopping and late night time at the open-24-hours hotel pool. I get “low-key” and “amusement park” are incongruent, but it is a park with swings and wooden coasters as opposed to the crazy big coasters even my kids prefer. My kids made the best of it, they rode every ride that looked remotely fun. The other kids deemed the rides “for babies” and sat out most of them just watching. While in line for a roller coaster, they complained to their mom that she “wasted her money,” and that “this place is lame.”
The much anticipated day at the amusement park was also an unseasonably cold 45 degree day with light rain starting by lunchtime. Early in the morning my girls and I decided to make the best of it, enjoy what we could. The other families bailed by 2:00 p.m. The girls and I stayed, we rode rides in the rain til 7:00 p.m. My 15 year old commented, “Yeah, it’s raining, but we are here, and this is fun.” The dinner show unfolded in a similar fashion. My girls singing and participating with the adults, the other children rolling their eyes. My girls enjoyed the pool, just the two of them.
There are several ways to teach this attitude:
- Model it – My husband’s example was about a day we spent with my high school friends at a community garden in Richmond. He says he couldn’t think of a more dull way to spend the day, but decided to make the most of it and went for nature walks and played tag with our girls.
- Highlight it – When your children keep an upbeat attitude, let them know you noticed.
- Focus on solutions not problems – When it started to drizzle, my daughter said, “If it rains harder, we could stop and see a show or have lunch.”
- Live in the moment as it is, rather than focusing on what it isn’t – One of the other children commented, “my friend Beth went somewhere good for vacation.” She couldn’t be grateful for where she was when she focused on where she wasn’t.
- Practice gratitude – The more children practice gratitude, the more they feel it. We were blessed to have time away together as a family, that alone is reason to be grateful.
- Smile more – It’s easy and can help improve your mood and your outlook.
I hope my girls keep this attitude as they grow. I want them to fully enjoy and make the most of wherever they are.
For our other family mantras, please visit: https://parentingbydrrene.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/mantras-in-our-family/.
Please share your family mantras here!