We have a kid who complains about everything. Seriously, if I gave him a piece of chocolate cake then he’d complain that it’s not vanilla. Or that it doesn’t have sprinkles. Or that it’s not warm right out of the oven. He’d find SOMETHING to be dissatisfied about it, and make it known.
Last night while I was talking to him, our ten minute conversation was entirely focused on him complaining that he’d gotten only one piece of pizza and not two. Afterwards, I challenged him to go one week without complaining.
Then I went downstairs and made this stoplight to remind him to monitor what he says…
The more we complain, the more unhappy we will be. We need to STOP making the determination that we’re being treated unfairly. That is such an entitled attitude!
Before we speak, we should slow down and THINK. This is an acronym that I’ve seen online, and I really like it. We truly don’t need to say every single thing that enters our little minds. When deciding whether or not we should verbalize something, quickly run through the THINK acronym– is it true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind?
We should go ahead and more freely verbalize our thankfulness and gratitude. Study after study has shown that simply being more grateful leads to a happier life. My mom used to like to quote the movie “Polyanna” and encourage us to “play the glad game”. Really there is good that can be found in almost any situation.
One of my favorite examples of optimism and gratitude, no matter what the circumstances, is from the book “The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom. While in a Nazi concentration camp, she was grateful for the fleas– truly grateful, not sarcastically so. The fleas, though irritating, she recognized served as a wonderful protection because the cruel guards would not enter her flea infested barracks.
If Corrie can be grateful for fleas, my kid can be grateful for pizza!!