Your guide to parenting in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts

In the busy-ness of life, we often move, move, move forward without noticing the time or the space or the feelings that we’re moving through.  But what happens when we stand still?  When we relax for a moment, and breathe, and notice what is happening around us while we stand still?  Everything changes.

One simple ritual that helps me is pausing in my day to express gratitude.  It can be as easy as pausing while I’m washing the dishes to look out the window and feel gratitude for the sky and the trees.  I breathe deeply, feel gratitude and then return to my chore.  But I am calmer and happier as I finish those dishes.

This ritual has become such an amazing part of my life with my children, too.  It has been transformative to sit together as a family and name all that we are grateful for.  During dinner, we each take a turn sharing our favorite part of the day.  These can be short and sweet, sometimes silly, but they always leave us with a smile and a shared reminder that each day is special.

Sometimes we change this ritual up a little bit- especially when the day has seen a lot of bickering or frustration (from kids or adults!).  On those nights, we choose one family member to start with (we always know the one who really needs to hear it the most) and we go around the table, each of us telling something we love about that person.

Hearing these words, spoken aloud, changes the energy in my home every time.

Tension melts away, and is replaced by love.  My children’s small voices remind me of the absolute beauty waiting in every moment, if we just stand still and notice it.

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