Archive for the ‘Gratitude’ Category

The Thanksgiving Table

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

Henry David Thoreau

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live did a great skit about a family Thanksgiving ‘discussion’ and how the Adele song Hello made people stop and think.

The scene is likely repeated in homes all over the country; it’s a great, simple message.  No need for controversy; we will have differences of opinion, but let’s be thankful for the people around the table, and in our lives.

Peace is harmony, and something we can create for ourselves.

Enjoy spending time with the people that you love, and give thanks you are able to celebrate with them.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

Gratitude – How to Raise a Child You Want to Meet in 25 Years

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

William Arthur Ward

As the second in our series, this week’s focus will be on gratitude. According to Cicero, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others.”  Interesting that in America we have a holiday dedicated to being thankful.  Does that imply that all other days we are not?  With all values, our goal is to form a habit.

Geoffrey James explains gratitude as, “an emotional muscle,” one should use so it is strengthened. People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what is wonderful in each day, and take nothing for granted.  They take time to see a child’s smile, acknowledge a stranger’s kindness or appreciate the cool summer wind.

This TED Talk by Louie Schwartzberg called, Nature. Beauty. Gratitude. is the most beautiful presentation on gratitude that I have ever seen.  Sharing this is my gift to you because it will change the way you think, and what you may have been taking for granted.

As always, we model the behavior we want to see in our children.  Though we intend to express gratitude, too often we put our daily tasks at the top of our list, and may simply run out of time.

What we can do right now to change our behavior:

  • Be present; don’t let the busyness of life make us stressed
  • Appreciate the people in our lives; possibly sending a letter of gratitude each week
  • Give at least one compliment daily, and say thank you often
  • Work on a cause for the greater good
  • Keep a gratitude journal

What this does for us:

  • Gratitude makes us happier
    • It puts situations into perspective. When we can see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain and stay stuck
    • Gratitude reduces envy
      • It helps us realize what we have, and lessen our need for wanting more all the time.
      • Gratitude strengthens relationships, deepens our friendships, and makes us less self-centered

How we can create an attitude of gratitude for our children:

  • For babies
    • Obviously they can’t do very much, but you can!  One mom made her very own thank you notes with the baby’s handprint.
    • Babies learn language at an incredible rate; so use the words ‘thank you’ often.
  • The preschool years
    • Create a thank you card with their picture on it and ask the child what they liked about the gift, including their words in the note.  If they don’t like the gift, explain the gift givers consideration and thought in selecting it.  You could say, “Grandma, loves you so much, she carefully picked out this sweater.  It makes her happy to do nice things, and we should thank her for such thoughtfulness.”
      This can be reinforced when your child makes gifts for family.  “See how happy Grandma was to get the macaroni picture!”  Ask them how it made them feel to see Grandma’s smile when she received it, and explain that is how Grandma felt choosing the sweater.  This reinforces empathy.
    • Every evening, ask your child to share the three best things that happened today.
  • Elementary School
    • Again, great idea to create a child’s very own stationary.  Consider putting all the supplies (cards, pens, and stamps, return address labels), which you can make also, in a plastic box with their name on it.  Quality over quantity – even a one-line thank you is great.
    • As they develop writing skills, have them create a gratitude jar.
    • Leave sticky notes out so family members can thank each other.  You can include a sticky note in their lunch box to thank them for being ready to leave the house on time.
  • Middle School
    • Think past notes and have your child call or even create a video.
    • Encourage them to help without being asked at least once a day, and ask them to share what that was and how they felt.
    • Create a gratitude picture board that could include family, friends, pets, and pictures of nature.
  • High School
    • By this time, they need to own ways they show gratitude.
    • At the end of the school year, ask them which teacher made a difference and encourage them to send a hand written note.
    • Donate time to help your school, church or a local shelter.

I am thankful to each person that reads and comments on these posts. Be sure to like Parental Wisdom’s Facebook page and share stories where your child demonstrated gratitude.  We’d love to hear from you, because we are all in this together!

Thanks and have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Mom & Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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What could you do if you had $1 million dollars?

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

—Leo Buscaglia

What could you do if you had $1 million dollars? What could you do if you had a single dollar?

Though your answers would be quite different, the sentiment might be quite similar.  If you think about it, waiting until we had a very large sum of money to do good stops us from doing what we can, with what we have, right now.

November 10th to the 14th is World Kindness Week

That is the approach that Alex Radelch took when he posed the question from his college dorm at Purdue University in December of 2012. He created this video and within the first 24 hours of recording the video, he was contacted by people in countries all over the world.

Alex then sold some personal belongings, order some ARK (Acts of Random Kindness) cards, and started a website aimed at creating a community of people dedicated to spreading kindness. As all of this was happening, a team began to form. A team of four close friends bent on impacting the world through kindness. And, just like that, ARK Project Now was born.

If you are one of the many people posting notes of gratitude, then you know how blessed you are.  How about we sign up for acts of random kindness?  I just signed up and committed to once a week.  Sounds only OK, but getting ramped up may be half the fun.

Enjoy your week!


Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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Attitude of Gratitude

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, I am encouraged by the year-round attention to being grateful.  We no longer wait for Thanksgiving to give thanks!  With all the benefits of being grateful, the best in my opinion, is how your own problems become smaller.

 If all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be content to take their own and depart.

– Socrates

How to keep the gratitude momentum going:

  1. Keep a journal and take a few minutes each day to write down something to be thankful for.
  2. Whenever you can, express your gratitude in person.
  3. Treat others with the same level of attention and respect you expect.
  4. Don’t complain when things happen.  Brush it off and don’t give it any more attention.
  5. Do ‘good’ for others.  That always makes you feel better.

More helpful reading:

6 Ways to Cultivate Gratitude

50 Ways to Show Gratitude for the People in Your Life

Our journey begins with a single step.  Being grateful is the first step to being happy, and isn’t raising happy children our job?

Thank you for reading!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

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Where do babies come from?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

If you think you know, there are actually several right answers including adoption, surrogate, IVF and others.

There are usually several right answers to questions which is why I am so thrilled about the success of a collaborative work that launched on September 1st and hit #15 on Amazon in the parenting category on September 2nd.

Parents Ask, Experts Answer: Nurturing Happy, Healthy Children provides multiple answers to questions for parents of children age’s two to six.  A panel of thirty-five experts offers advice on some of the most challenging issues faced by parents:

discipline bullying behavior
sleep caregivers play
family relationships siblings separation
special needs education friendship
technology peer pressure money

The best part about this work is that you get to see all expert answers in one place (all questions have at least three expert responses) so that you, the real expert in knowing your child best, gets to choose which response fits best for your unique child and situation.

This concept is so unique it is protected by US Patents 6193518 and 6482012.

Thank you for supporting this work!

  • Please write a review if you’ve purchased and read the book
  • Share the book information with your family and friends via Facebook, Twitter, or email.

After all, it’s much easier on your relationship to suggest they read the book rather than giving advice!

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

We must not give our children too much

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Your children need your presence more than your presents.  – Jesse Jackson

Privileged Texas teen Ethan Couch was charged in the deaths of four pedestrians while driving drunk.

His attorney used the ‘affluenza’ defense claiming that he had a sense of entitlement and was irresponsible.  His poor behavior was due to the fact that his parents did not set proper boundaries.

The judge gave the teen 10 years of probation for the fatal accident. Prosecutors were seeking the maximum 20-year prison sentence.

In the season of giving, you may want to give your children less in terms of material things.

You may want to consider the four gift rule:

  1. 1 thing they want
  2. 1 thing they need
  3. 1 thing they wear
  4. 1 thing they read

You are probably done shopping now.

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®

The Art of Appreciation

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

It’s been said that every cloud has a silver lining. That is true even with a storm as devastating as Hurricane Sandy

Sometimes it takes a loss for us to appreciate what we already have and what is really important; the safety of those we love and the simple comforts of home. 

This past week, families with no electricity found light in the darkness. Calm from the storm came in the form of uninterrupted time and doing things together like playing board games, cards, reading or telling stories by candlelight.  The game of life took on a very real form.

Many spent their time giving what little they could to those worse off.  I suppose for many Thanksgiving came a little early. 

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.   -John F. Kennedy

Have a great week!

Tina Nocera, Founder

Parental Wisdom®