Chaplain’s Chat – Gratitude

In this post I’m reflecting on Gratitude; the fourth and final focus of The Resilience project. Gratitude is the practice of being thankful for and focusing on what we have in our lives, not what we don’t. The benefits of gratitude and simple ways to practice it were shared in a previous newsletter post here. If you wish to encourage more gratitude in your family and haven’t tried these simple ways approaches this is a great place to start. 


Gratitude in tricky situations 

But sometimes it is not always easy to be grateful. Below are some thoughts on being grateful when it doesn’t come easily. 

Sometimes kids are glass half full, like my 5y/o. Others are glass half empty, like my 6y/o. My gratitude check-in at the end of the day easily becomes a list of the day’s negatives regardless of how many big positives there were. I have learned that after my 5y/o is in bed, spending some time using my 6y/o’s favourite love language, 1-1 quality time, is what fills her tank, and she is much more positive after this. Hopefully this practice will help influence her mindset over the longer term. 

Other times, life is just challenging. Positives aren’t as obvious and being grateful is hard. However, when the road has been rocky, we can help our children be resilient by looking for the lessons learned and also recalling the everyday blessings we sometimes take for granted.  

For example, for my 6y/o, this term has been tough with ongoing friendship fires. However, as things have started to improve towards the end of term it’s easier to look back and find the positive lessons while still acknowledging the challenges. I can be proud she’s remained kind and grown in assertiveness. I can’t answer her questions of why peers choose to be mean on purpose, but I can help her see the positives of the teachers that helped her and the inner strength she’s developed. 

As adults, life can get a lot more tricky. However, the principle holds. In this encouraging link from TRP-Home, Nedd Brockmann shares how having a gratitude lens helped him overcome adversity to achieve great things. 



Holidays is a time to slow down for some families and an even more hectic time for others. Regardless the end of a term is a milestone. I hope when you’re able to make the time, you have plenty of grateful moments and hopeful progress to appreciate from this past term.  

Finally, if you do have time to reset and spend more time together as a family, you may wish to use the holidays to have a daily gratitude/feeling/zones check in to help strengthen the habits of resilience that you want to encourage in your family.