Happiness and fulfillment result from being connected to others while still maintaining a unique identity.
Daniel J. Siegel
Children are born ready for and open to intimate relationships with others. Yet, this does not mean that they know how to build harmonious relations. Any time they come in contact with another person they learn something new, yet the most significant experiences have their source in contacts within the family. It is in the family that children learn how to communicate their needs, share experience, listen, understand emotions, kindness, and compassion for others.
Children can draw a sense of security, support, and strength rrom relations with their closest family members, allowing them to go out into the world, take risks, and engage in actions to the benefit of others. Or they may go out into the world with a sense of insecurity, anxiety, and feeling lost. Consistently showing children love, becoming tuned to their feelings, and offering corrective tutelage from the perspective of a kind guide will help them find intimacy and joy with trust and openness in contacts with other people.
It is of utmost importance for the children to experience love, kindness, and full trust in their family as often as possible. This does not require much – moments when we laugh, play, or talk together and generally have a good time together are sufficient. The more leisure combined with pleasure, the better – the more willingly we spend time together.
Family traditions can be a good pretext for this. Celebrations and festivities when the entire family gathers together are amazing opportunities to joyfully experience the sense of community and cultivate family ties. Festive traditions, playing and having fun together are a source of joy for children and are conducive to building intimacy. Rituals specific for each family have a similar effect. These may be evening get-togethers when we spin cheerful or inspiring tales allowing children to calmly fall asleep, surrounded with love and kindness. This can also be meals shared together when we joke or share one interesting observation we made during the day.
One of the most effective rituals conducive to developing the sense of community and cultivating the sense of „Us” is the practice of gratefulness.
Cultivating gratefulness is uplifting for the spirit, decreases stress levels, and even goes as far as to improve a physical condition. A shared practice of gratefulness unites and brings light into the life of a family. It may take on the form of a simple exercise practiced during a shared meal. Each person in turn says of one thing they are grateful for, taking turns until running out of ideas.
This is my list of gratefulness:
I am grateful for darkness, since it allows me to see light
I am grateful for illnesses, since they allow me to appreciate health
I am grateful for chaos, since it allows me to appreciate harmony
I am grateful for intolerance, since it allows me to appreciate open-mindedness
I am grateful for ugliness, since it allows me to appreciate beauty
I am grateful for greed, since it allows me to appreciate generosity
I am grateful for envy, since it allows me to appreciate selflessness
I am grateful for absent-mindedness, since it allows me to appreciate mindfulness
I am grateful for impatience, since it allows me to appreciate the power of liberation
I am grateful for poverty, since it allows me to appreciate abundance
I am grateful for war, since it allows me to appreciate understanding
I am grateful for violence, since it allows me to appreciate kindness
I am grateful for weakness, since it allows me to appreciate perseverance
I am grateful for loneliness, since it allows me to appreciate community
I am grateful for despair, since it allows me to appreciate optimism
I am grateful for confusion, since it allows me to appreciate integration
I am grateful for anxiety, since it allows me to appreciate the bliss of silence
I am grateful for death, since it allows me to appreciate life.