A remarkable thing happened this week during our weekly family meeting, the Louie Scoop. Seriously, there are days when I wonder if our kids are getting anything out of it. Just when I wonder if we’re making a difference: boom! Magic happens.
You’ve probably heard people talk about keeping a gratitude journal, or if not a journal, taking time to express what you’re grateful for every single day. I keep a journal for myself but my husband and I have agreed that we want to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” within our kids.
To put this into practice, we take time toward the end of our family meetings to go round-robin and share three new and unique things we’re grateful for and why. “New and unique” so the kids can’t copy off whomever goes first. Everybody gets a turn. We are intentional about doing it as one of the last things so we can end on a high note.
When first we started these family meetings, we asked the kids to name one thing they were grateful for, and given how easy it obviously was, we changed pretty early on for it to be three things. All well and good. Seriously, when we get to that point in the agenda (yes, yes…we actually have an agenda!), they shoot their arms to the sky to be first to speak. It’s the cutest thing ever. Let me put this into perspective: we have a teenager, and even he participates. It’s a contest for who can go first.
Well this week, we opened the floor for “new business”. Our youngest raised his little hand and challenged us with a giant smile: “I think it’s time we ‘level up’ on our gratitudes. Let’s name four new and unique things starting next week!”
He’s 7. This idea came from his heart. I’m telling you right now that Cupid was flying around our family room with his bow and shot an arrow straight to my heart. I was a puddle and somehow beaming with pride at the same time.
And it was the way he put it: we need to “level up”. Our other kids totally got it. Let’s be clear, they moaned…but they got it. Video gamers as they are, they constantly strive to master the game they’re in so they can move on up to the next level where the challenges are greater but way more fun at the same time. Every gamer wants to level up.
So this week, I challenge you to the same. Level up your game. You can decide if it’s a one time thing or a “from now on” thing. Start a gratitude journal. Engage in a random act of kindness. Get off your social media for just one day and spend the time you otherwise would with a loved one or tackling a chore at home that’s gone undone for way too long. Read. Go for a walk. Find a charity that resonates with you and write them a check. Send a thank you or “thinking of you” note in the mail, with your own handwriting. Call someone who’s lonely. Set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to your savings or investment account every month.
Pick just one thing. I dare you to Live Laugh Love Louie-style and level up. Tell me what you decided to do.
Photo by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash