In our home, we’ve found that taking conscious steps to be more thoughtful and good benefits everyone. Sure, there have been studies that found expressing empathy and kindness have very real physical health benefits, but we all feel better as well. Everyone is just happier to be a part of our family when we take the time to be more thoughtful, good and considerate.
Why thoughtfulness is important in our home
Studies have confirmed what we already know in our household, which is that being more thoughtful to one another helps each of us live healthier lives. We all feel physically better and, as a result, we’re more productive. We find that we’re also better able to appreciate the good things life has to offer, as well.
Physically, being more thoughtful to others can:
- Reduce stress and tension
- Help lower blood pressure
- Release endorphins (“feel good” neurotransmitters) into the brain
- Lower the risk of developing headaches and migraines
In addition to being physically healthy, our family has found that we all get along better. We become more invested in each other’s lives, which helps every one of us feel supported. This kind of encouragement pushes us to succeed in our individual endeavors.
Tips for adopting a more thoughtful attitude
If this is a new concept, your own family may need some guidance. These tips can help you each make conscious efforts to practice thoughtfulness on a daily basis. It may help to print out these thoughtfulness tips and hang them where everyone can see them.
- Take a breath – You can’t be thoughtful if you’re always running around. Take a break to check in on your loved ones.
- Believe in one another – It’s easy to assume the worst, but try to make conscious efforts to believe in one another. Giving the benefit of the doubt is essential to being more thoughtful.
- Take a deeper interest – As your spouse, child, or sibling is telling you something, it’s easy to nod and just zone out. However, if you make a point to ask questions, you’ll be forcing yourself to take a deeper interest.
- Show your concern – Try to understand the other person’s position. Even if you think they’re wrong, try to empathize with their feelings.
- Offer your help – When you have a problem, you want others to do what they can to help you. The opposite is just as true. If you can do something to help resolve a situation, do it.
- Ask about progress – Later, make a point to ask about the situation. You can show that you genuinely care by simply asking how a situation turned out.
These are simple steps you can take to be more thoughtful at home. If you try them just for one week, you may find that your family is happier. Just like my own family, you’ll find that being more thoughtful helps everyone in your home adopt a more positive outlook on life.
Why goodness is important in our home
Every child is young and inexperienced in life, and they need all the lessons they can get. Learning about goodness is one of the best lessons of all. They will go through life with many things they have learned along the way.
Childhood can be difficult in many ways and if children receive love and acceptance from people, especially parents, they will learn the value of goodness and how to appreciate it.
What is goodness?
Right and wrong have different consequences, and children are often taught the difference between the two more than anything else early on. However, goodness is a lesson not only of things that are right, but in how doing things that are acceptable will cause feelings and experiences that make them happier.
How to teach goodness
Positive and negative reinforcement are two techniques that every parent should use. When a child has behaved poorly, they need to have consequences that go along with this misbehavior, otherwise they think it is acceptable and they can get away with anything. Using negative reinforcement, such as sending them to a time-out, restricting activities, or grounding them will provide a lesson they will have good things taken away if they misbehave.
Positive reinforcement, such as rewarding the child with things they enjoy or activities that are fun are one way of teaching goodness. However, goodness can also be taught in any situation, even if the child has done wrong. After being punished, letting the child know the relativity of their misbehavior (that they are not “bad kids”) and showing them love and kindness teaches them the value of goodness even in the face of mistakes.
More about teaching goodness
When kids grow up, if they have been taught goodness, they will become happier, more well-adjusted adults who tend to be more successful and ambitious, love their family and friends, and live longer, healthier and more fulfilled lives.
The value of goodness is transcendent. When a child learns that goodness is not only a virtue, but a practice, they will find ways to create good things and make life better for themselves and everyone else in their lives. Goodness comes in many forms and teaching a child how to be good creates a healthy sense of self-esteem and well-being that will make it possible to survive life’s many ups and downs.
Goodness is not hard to teach. All one has to do is to be loving, kind, and compassionate, as well as understanding. If you teach a child about goodness, you will find more of it in yourself as well.