As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a great time to reflect on everything we are grateful for. At Kids In The House, we are grateful for our families and friends that support and motivate us. Experts agree that gratitude is directly connected to our happiness and the happiness of those around us. Some family members may struggle with narcissism or selfishness. How can we help them develop a greater sense of charity? Kids In The House experts have the answers to help you create healthy relationships in your household this holiday season.
Narcissism is defined as someone who is self-absorbed all of the time, not just occasionally. It can be hard to live with a partner or child who has developed narcissistic tendencies, but it is important to remember that sometimes they can’t help it and may need clinical help. Psychotherapist Wendy Bahar explains that she has worked with some fairly aggressive narcissists. She says, “I can say that change is possible, but it requires an essential element and that is leverage.” Using leverage will help them develop gratitude and recognize what is important to them.
Sociologist and happiness expert Christine Carter explains how important gratitude is for our child’s well being. When they are unappreciative, they become disappointed more easily which leads to feelings of sadness and frustration. She explains, “We have lots of good research around gratitude that shows that when we are consciously practicing to feel more grateful, we tend to be remarkably more happy, more satisfied with our lives, and a whole host of other benefits comes to us as well.”
How can we help our children be more grateful? “Let your children hear you being grateful and also teach them how to be grateful,” says parent educator Rona Renner. “Do things in the world that also bring out your generosity so other people can be grateful to you as well. It’s a way to enjoy life and increase your happiness.” Some ways to encourage your children to show more appreciation include starting family meals with each person sharing what they are grateful for that day. Some families also have “Gratitude Jars” with little notes for every one to write down what they are grateful for and then they share them at the end of the week. And of course, Thanksgiving is a wonderful day to share with your loved ones how much you appreciate them. Establishing family traditions of expressing gratitude will help your children feel loved and it will strengthen your family.
Do you still have questions on narcissism and gratitude? Watch our Google Hangout, “Gratitude & Narcissism Discussion” tomorrow at 1:30pm PST for a live Q&A session with our experts!
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