Ah, childhood. The Best Days of your life. Or maybe that was supposed to be during college? Or young adulthood in general? What if we could find a way to celebrate most days as the best days of our lives, and cultivate that attitude in our children?
I openly acknowledge that not every day can literally be the Best Day of your life. We could probably work toward identifying the highlight of any given day, though. Planting the seeds of optimism and gratitude can start in childhood, with your gentle guidance.
- Ask your child about the highlight of the day or week This can be a 30 second conversation, or a much, much longer conversation. Ask why that event was so special, how that can be replicated, and how that joy can be shared with others.
- Ask your child to guess what the best part of the day is for another person in the family Children can have some great responses to this question, particularly when you understand the reasoning. My favorite, “I think Mom’s best part of the day was grocery shopping!” (What?!) “She got more chocolate chips, and she really likes those.” (True, and now I will forever think of grocery shopping differently.)
- Ponder what can be done to promote another best day for your child or anyone else When we know what creates joy and happiness, it can be easier to reproduce that!
- When your child struggles, ask what can be learned from the struggle We all struggle from time to time. What can be learned from our tough times? Sometimes we learn patience or perseverance. Sometimes we learn about hidden strengths. Sometimes we learn to ask more questions. Sometimes we learn who our best supporters might be. What might you learn from this struggle?
Clearly, not every day can be a best day. As I write this, there is much sadness around me. And yet, I know that some of the sad events (truly, a pending funeral for one family) will create opportunities for reflection, connection, growth, and support.