How can we show gratitude to our family members?

TRANSCRIPT

[Brent]
Welcome to the Intentional Family Moment. Take a moment with us as we discuss our thoughts on your family questions, then join us in our weekly challenge as we work together to be more intentional in our families.
This is episode 9, hosted by married Coriaria founders Brent and Michelle. This episode is brought to you by Coriaria – Choose family. Learn more at coriaria.com.
[Michelle]
Today’s question is “How can we show gratitude to our family members?”
[Brent]
I love this question, if not because of this time of year, but also because Gratitude is something that is relevant every single day of the year. I think that when one is grateful, it creates an environment where so many other wonderful things can exist.
[Michelle]
The first thing that comes to mind in regards to today’s question is to never suppress when we feel gratitude, to act on it the moment that you feel it, to express it verbally or (if that person is not present) to write it, or to show gratitude in other love language ways. We are always so quick to act on our emotions when they are negative. We are quick to scold, but not as quick to express gratitude when we feel it.
[Brent]
It’s interesting because we might feel gratitude or even think to say something about it, but I think we may have a tendency to be dismissive of the small things, the little things. We can express small bits of gratitude even when they might seem too small to say anything about. I think it comes to mind when we are parenting. When our children do something good, it’s very easy to miss that or not saying anything about it. When we are grateful or express praise, it goes a long way in not only promoting those behavior, but also helping a child understand that we appreciate what they do, that what they do matters. Having that understanding is important for their development and understanding of the role that they play in the world. The choices – bot the bad and the good – have significant consequences.
[Michelle]
I think it’s important for us to express gratitude for things that people “should” already be doing. This is something we often do not express gratitude for, like when there is a chore that is a duty that happens regularly. We can still be grateful for those things.
[Brent]
You do a great job with that for me. When we talk about duty, it’s often times because it is garbage night and dad will take out the garbage – that’s what we have on the calendar. You very consistently express gratitude for these things even when we have to do them every single week.
[Michelle]
Thanks for doing the dishes. What ways mean the most to have gratitude expressed to you?
[Brent]
I think that in reference to appreciation, we talked about love languages and a broad spectrum of ways that you can express love and appreciation for someone. For gratitude on a basic level, just recognizing it verbally goes a long way. I don’t think there has to be a huge show of appreciation or love in order to express gratitude. There is very much a mindset that comes with having gratitude in your life that is really at the heart of living with gratitude and expressing that gratitude to others. The simple expression of that gratitude with others when saying “Thank you” is certainly a big part of that. Then letting that rest within you and feeling that gratitude and being present with that gratitude is the other half of that, which is a benefit for you personally. It works as well when you’re a recipient of that gratitude – being able to to by mindful with that gratitude. Not only did someone say “thank you” for that thing, but being able to reflect on the significance of someone noticing and the significance of being part of that connection.
[Michelle]
What I was going to say in regards to mindfulness is to beyond say it. You can feel it and then say it, other times you say it and then take the time to feel it.
[Brent]
This might sound a little stretched, but I think that when we talk about mindfulness in this way, it’s useful to go through the exercise of thinking of a food – maybe a dessert, or beverage, or something you really enjoy – and thinking about savoring that. The way that we are with our emotions feels a lot like savoring that emotion to me. When we are grateful and we express that gratitude, it’s able to go even further when we take the time to be mindful with that feeling.
[Michelle]
There’s a definite trend to only praise and show gratitude on social media. It’s not always done for the wrong reasons, but many times it’s done with at least subconscious selfish intent, to be noticed for your gratitude and your kindness. If you’re going to do that, be sure to have a true, intentional, sincere meaning behind it. More importantly, express in person without show and with real sincere meaning, one-on-one. Those are the ways that mean the most especially in our day.
[Brent]
While there may be some place for a public display of gratitude, it’s important to keep that private focus. That stacks up well for a challenge we can apply ourselves, which is to pick up the practice of thank-you notes. I think when we write a personal note describing our gratitude and giving it to that person, it makes a big difference. Some of my favorite moments of gratitude have come in the form of a formal “Thank you” note. I don’t think one has to go out and buy really fancy paper, stationery, and a fountain pen in order to do that. Taking the time to be intentional in what you write and how you write it, and then giving it to that person, has a tremendous difference in both how that gratitude is transmitted and received.
[Michelle]
So our challenge to ourselves and to our audience is to write at least one handwritten thank you note to someone, and to todo it sincerely, even in a private manner, one-on-one.
[Brent]
As to how you deliver that note, that will be up to the situation. You could deliver it with a gift if that’s appropriate ,or leave it on their pillow or desk, or wherever they are going to find it so that they will receive that note so that they can read it, reflect on it, and enjoy it.
[Michelle]
Even if it’s anonymous.
[Brent]
Thank you for joining us, now go home and change the world by being more intentional with your family.

Challenge: Give a thank you note to someone

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