0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:10 – Speaker 2
Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim On AM630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents’ cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:37 – Speaker 3
On today’s show, we’re discussing the concept of everyday thankfulness.
0:00:42 – Speaker 1
Well, it’s that time of year. It doesn’t have to be, but we’re talking about it at this time of year, around Thanksgiving, and people start thinking like, oh, I’m thankful for this, I’m thankful for that. They start really being aware of all the blessings in their life. But the bottom line is this needs to be our everyday operating standard. We just need to be thankful all the time.
0:01:01 – Speaker 3
We do. But it’s hard because when you’re driving down the road and you’ve got 800 million things in your to-do list and you just get in this self-pity mode where it’s all about you and all about your list and all about what’s going on and the bills and the brakes that need to be replaced, all that stuff, and it’s just so easy to become so self-centered.
0:01:26 – Speaker 1
It is, and the everyday you don’t just yuck, yes, Well, and it’s funny because we can shift gears so quickly when there’s big things that happen I don’t mean to be overly obvious like winning the lottery. Yes, you would be thankful and excited in that moment but those big moments in life that are traditionally times of celebration and thankfulness, like having a baby or a birthday or whatever it is for you.
0:01:48 – Speaker 3
Those are like mountain top moments.
0:01:50 – Speaker 1
They’re like triggers of thankfulness. It happens automatically, like usually you don’t have to walk yourself through. I should be thankful in this moment, yes, but it’s not in the mountain top moments, not in the beautiful, obvious gifts, but in the everyday, when it’s Tuesday at 2.30 and you are sitting in the pick-up line. This is a true story. I was thinking about this, like when do I struggle the most? And kindergarten my son went to public school, so I did the whole pick-up line thing that you do oh the pick-up line.
Which I thought was a joke. By the way, I swear it is, it’s awful. I thought that was real, like the process of it. I know it sounds crazy. I thought you like literally get in your car, you go and you pick up your kid.
0:02:30 – Speaker 3
No, it’s like an hour. It’s like an hour process and then you know I’ve got-. How is this possible? I’ve got two kids at different schools.
0:02:37 – Speaker 1
I just don’t know how. I don’t know how this is still a thing, like I feel like that whole process is a joke.
0:02:44 – Speaker 3
But I’m out here doing the joke, rant done Everyday. Everyday I’m living the joke.
0:02:50 – Speaker 1
But the first week doing it, I have like a little a toddler and I have a baby in the car seat and I’m sitting in the pick-up line and I have to go to the bathroom. Everybody’s hungry. All we have is goldfish and I’m like digging out from under my daughter’s butt in the car seat. I’m like they’re good. They are still good. I’m eating these goldfish, yes, and like I had I thought I was being productive so I’d gotten groceries, but now they’re melting and going bad in the back, and so I’m thinking about the budget and then I look in like the gas tank is almost empty and I’m like how is this possible, that this is my life and in that moment, moments like that that really happen every day, yes, every day. In some way, how do you maintain thankfulness, one for yourself, but also for your kids? How do we instill that in our kids that we are not in a state of frustration and anger and non-thankfulness? I guess you know what is the word I’m trying to keep up here Not non-thankfulness.
It’s not the word.
0:03:43 – Speaker 3
Well, just selfishness really. I mean, you’re living in your own little world, thinking only about yourself. Yes, exactly, I don’t know the word that you’re looking for but that’s how I would describe it.
0:03:51 – Speaker 1
It exists, mandy, it is. We’re just can’t think of it today More coffee, please, yes, anyway, we really wanted to do a show on thankfulness, everyday thankfulness for you and your family and your kids, because we feel like it truly is something you can cultivate in your home.
0:04:06 – Speaker 3
Well, you know, we always talk about, like the shift in parenting and this really requires a mind shift, like to be more outward focused instead of inward focused. Yes, it’s a really hard thing and it’s really hard to teach our kids that when they are. For instance, you know, like I have a high schooler and she’s super busy with her AP classes, her extracurriculars, I mean it is fast and furious and so it’s really hard to be outward focused when you’re in survival mode, trying to just stay sane and not get stressed out to the point where you’re not in a good place. You know, I mean it is like survival mode and trying to keep find little tidbits throughout the day that make her appreciate things. You know, it was funny the other day and I think you can do it through a lot of conversation, just like with everything else, like that mind shift.
Just the other day she said somebody said at my lunch table that they were super excited when their parents had lunch meat in the house to make lunch. And she was like, mom, it was like lunch meat was such a commodity, like whoa, and I said well, sis, I’m so glad you picked up on that. Like, for some kids it is Like they don’t have groceries, fresh groceries, every week, like we do and I’m really glad that you noticed that this person said that and it trickled a conversation. You know it prompted a conversation, which was really good, but just those little moments of like I’m thankful to have groceries, something that we don’t think about, we take for granted.
0:05:46 – Speaker 1
Well, I think so much of us kind of in this middle class stage of life. Yeah, we’re in a bubble. We’re in a bubble and we take a lot for granted. I remember calling you just recently, you know, when my husband and I were first married and you know you’re growing your career and you’re learning how to balance your budget.
You’re tired, you’re tired and babies come along and there’s all these expenses, and then I had a lot of medical expenses in our marriage, and so there’s always been these like goals that we’ve talked about. If we ever reached this point, we would do this you know, just kind of dreaming, just for fun. And probably 15 years ago we said I told him I was ironing his shirt.
0:06:25 – Speaker 3
I remember, because I hate ironing, Ironing that is one thing I just don’t do.
0:06:31 – Speaker 1
It is a double my husband has to do it Like I’m just like, listen, I will wash and I will put away, but you have got to iron because I cannot we are in the same boat, because literally that’s part two of the story, because I was ironing and like tears were coming down my face, because it was like the last straw of them 500 other things I had done that day and the child pooping sitting at my foot it was just a day and I was like I just I cannot iron anymore.
Can’t we take your clothes to the dry cleaner? And he’s like listen, because you know our husbands both are kind of like the calm and the star.
0:07:02 – Speaker 3
We’re the crazy, we’re the crazy, they’re the calm.
0:07:05 – Speaker 1
And he says listen, it’s okay, I will do the ironing moving forward. Like these are my clothes, I will iron them and I was like no, then I’m a failure.
0:07:15 – Speaker 2
And he’s like no.
0:07:16 – Speaker 1
I will do the ironing and someday, when we get to this figure like it was a job, it wasn’t a huge amount At this point. Yes, when we get this point in our life, I will let you know and we will take my clothes to the dry cleaner. And so we got to that point this past January, 15 years later, 15 years later, and he’s like Kim go to the dry cleaning girl and I was like, yeah, and so every time I drop off his dry cleaning now, like every other week, it’s just like a celebration.
Yeah, because I remember where I came from, and I think that’s one of those things. I know that’s like a little story, there’s bigger versions of that and we have bigger versions of that in our household, but I think that’s another part of everyday thankfulness is remembering where you came from or what you didn’t have or what was lacking, or the blessing that is now in your life, like being able to look at those two opposites and be thankful for that space in between.
0:08:07 – Speaker 3
Well, this is why we’re actually doing this show, because you actually called me from the dry cleaning and you were like it’s just a glorious day, I get to take my clothes to the and I’m like what are you doing? Like what are you smoking over there? It’s the little thing. But then you told me the background story of how much it meant to you. And think about if we share those background stories with our kids and then they understand and they appreciate more. You know I do that a lot with my kids. So you know I grew up single mom, just like you, but money was tight over at our house.
Like there was no eating out. There was no, I mean everything. Anything school related that came up that I knew there was money for it was like totally stressed me out, like I would get the note at school and all day long I would be thinking about like how are we gonna pay for this, cause it was just part of like we were a team and you know I would do extra jobs and pay the light bill, like that’s just what we did, and so I share those stories with my kids a lot. You know, like do you know how fortunate you are that you don’t ever have to worry about our light bill? Like it’s just taken care of, and I’ll like show them how much it is, you know, so they know how much things cost.
I think that’s really important. Yeah, when they were really little, like anytime we would go out to eat. Like I would tell them the amount, and as they’ve gotten older, they have seen that that amount has grown because they’re eating adult meals. Now, like everybody orders an adult meal and I’m like, holy moly, this is like getting really expensive.
0:09:38 – Speaker 1
It’s like an event going out and we have two kids.
0:09:39 – Speaker 3
Yes, like I’m like, oh my God. So, but you know what? What I’ve noticed is, every time we go out to eat, they will come up to either me or Matt and they will say thank you for taking us out to eat. And I think it’s because they know how much it costs, absolutely, because when they see like a $65 bill, they’re like, oh my gosh, that’s more than I got for my birthday for all the money For one dinner.
Yes, for one dinner. You know, and I just like little conversations can prompt this awareness and then they become a little bit more thankful for what you’re giving them.
0:10:15 – Speaker 1
We have some really practical things we want to share with you, coming up on how you can build this culture of thankfulness in your home. I think it’s important to say here, though at nextTalk we’re always talking about. Everything is an ongoing conversation. It’s not a one and done. Like you can’t tell your kids one time like be thankful and then expect them to do it. We didn’t plan that that was good.
The other side of that, though, which I am guilty of, so I can speak freely about it. I’m not judging here, but I think we’ve all done it. I have been the recipient of this in a moment of frustration from my family.
0:10:45 – Speaker 3
I feel like this is going to sting a little bit. Well, you know, I feel like this is going to hurt all of us a little bit.
0:10:50 – Speaker 1
It’s because I have done it like recently, actually, like you can’t be in that moment where you’re driving on the road and you’ve been thinking about this, or you listen to this podcast or whatever it is, or you feel like your kids have been ungrateful and they say something or do something and you turn around that slow turn at the light, oh, and you’re like you are so ungrateful. Do you know how much it cost to eat dinner at the Olive Garden? You know you can’t. Okay, that’s crazy mom mode right there, kim it is. I have had that moment recently. There was like this whole conversation that was ungrateful, wining the whining.
0:11:29 – Speaker 3
0:11:30 – Speaker 1
With the three of them. It’s like a bad song. Yeah, I’ve been on speaker.
0:11:34 – Speaker 3
Call with you before I know, girl, I know, and I’m like enough with the whining.
0:11:39 – Speaker 1
What in the world turned it off. And so it was just one of those moments when they had been so abundantly blessed in different ways on this day and they were just like, and I lost it and I was like I was that crazy mom mode and I had to circle back because I know none of that’s sinking in because they all let my daughter start crying.
0:12:00 – Speaker 3
They’re just scared, they’re just scared.
0:12:01 – Speaker 2
My son’s eyes got real big.
0:12:03 – Speaker 3
My six year old and he was like, oh man we’ve done it now, but was it good when you circled back, because you could say why you were frustrated and then they could get it like oh, we’re not being grateful.
0:12:13 – Speaker 1
And they apologized and I apologized and we talked about how, you know, sometimes we make mistakes, and mommy lost it, and it was even a bigger conversation because I said part of why I lost it is because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I hadn’t eaten, I was tired, it was a long day, I had overbooked myself, and so it was like multiple conversations. Well, that’s a thing too.
If you’re over scheduled, you’re not going to be find the joy in little things because, you’re just too stressed out, just checking off the list and you know, going through it and we have two shows that you can go reference on that Over scheduled. It’s like over scheduled over it and the stress show.
0:12:47 – Speaker 3
Both of those are really good shows to think about. And you know, when you just shared this story, I was thinking about one of the counselors that we had on for one of those shows. I think she’s on the cutting show actually, but that has to deal with the stress stuff. But she said don’t have a conversation when you’re at a 10.
0:13:04 – Speaker 2
And I think that’s.
0:13:05 – Speaker 3
What popped in my mind is that you know what we’re talking about. Is these conversations about thankfulness? Have those when everybody’s emotional level is like a two or three, everybody’s calm. You know, 10 being the crazy mom mode, because nothing is productive at that point. You all just need to step away from any conversation and nobody’s taking anything in.
0:13:25 – Speaker 1
Yeah, they’re just being affected by it in the moment. Yeah, nobody’s processing or taking anything in, so it’s not going to have a long term effect on your kiddo, right.
0:13:33 – Speaker 3
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0:13:53 – Speaker 1
You know, sometimes we feel like our kids don’t know how good they have it. But if you think about the world they’re living in, just turn on the TV, especially this time of year, during around the holidays. They are told constantly you deserve this, you should have better, bigger you, you should get the newest and latest thing, you should have it. Everybody else has it, and so that’s the world that they’re living in, the message they’re hearing all the time, and so we need to counter that in our home. We need to start, like we said, this conversation establishing why thankfulness is important, why we worry about it or why we make it a priority. I know in our family and in your family and here at nextTalk, we’re always saying send your kids to scripture, like, get them to go look and see what God says about, whatever the situation is, whether you know it’s seeing pornography, whether it’s marriage issue, whether it’s talking behind someone’s back. This is in the Bible too.
0:14:45 – Speaker 3
Thankfulness- and there’s some great scriptures in there, yeah, and instead of like spoon feeding them, what the Bible says, sending them to scripture to look it up is teaching your kids to seek God, and that’s ultimately what we want. We don’t want our kids to seek our rules, we want our kids to seek God. I love 1 Thessalonians, 5, 16 and 18. Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, and oh, that’s so hard to do.
0:15:13 – Speaker 1
0:15:14 – Speaker 3
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. And you know that is saying not only on those mountain valley, high, amazing moments, but in the valley when you just lost your job or you just got betrayed by a friend. Find the thankfulness, the things that you’re grateful for Absolutely.
0:15:31 – Speaker 1
I’m Colossians 315. I like this one because I can almost feel. I almost feel like God was adding an exclamation point at the end when he says this let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since, as members of one body, you were called to peace. Oh, and be thankful. That’s my paraphrasing of like be thankful in the midst of all of that. It’s important.
0:15:52 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and Colossians 4-2,. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful, and I do think there’s a correlation there. The more that we are praying you know that ceasing without praying just every day as we’re going throughout the more we will be thankful. Because you know, as you’re sitting in the car, pole line stressed out, trying to eat the goldfish from the car seat underneath your kid’s butt, because you’re starving- and you got to pee you know all those things happening.
If you’re praying like Lord, just help me. Right now I’m a hot mess and I need your peace. There’s something about that peace that comes upon you even though you’re still in the midst of your chaos, but you’re automatically thankful for that peace.
0:16:34 – Speaker 1
0:16:35 – Speaker 3
You know, and so that connection between prayer and thankfulness is a big thing.
0:16:39 – Speaker 1
Well, I think the common theme, too, that stands out to me is being watchful, aware and peaceful, like you said, yeah, and I think that all speaks to what we’re talking about being watchful and aware of your circumstances and others and that helps you to define your thankfulness in a very tangible way, like if your eyes are open, if you say, lord, help me to see the need beyond my own household, help me to see what other people are going through and be watchful of what’s happening around you. It’s real easy to realize how blessed you are, and when you experience that, there’s a sense of thankfulness that comes over you and the peace, like you’re saying, when you’re at peace, you’re able to be aware of how blessed you are, and then thankfulness comes as a result of that.
0:17:19 – Speaker 3
So Even if you’re walking through the darkest of days, you know the peace that surpasses all understanding. When you experience that, you automatically go to a place of thankfulness, like I hate my circumstances but I’m so thankful that I have God to carry me through this, you know, and so there’s definitely the correlation there, for sure.
0:17:40 – Speaker 1
So you know, in sending your kids to the scripture. That’s a great way to start the conversation. Like you, go seek it out and let’s talk about what you found God is saying to be thankful. Therefore, it’s important for us to pay attention to that. It’s a calling, it’s a command, it’s a blessing Scientifically, if you have a real thinker in your household who really wants to know, like why am I doing this? Beyond God’s calling, are there practical things that I wanna know about? There’s so many studies out there. I was reading one recently from a leading psychologist in this area and we will. We were reading this and I was talking about it to my husband that it said, your brain, the serotonin levels that are produced when you’re thankful and at peace, help with your overall health and your ability to navigate through the day and through life significantly, so that alone is a reason to be thankful. Scientifically, it helps you to feel better. God called us to be at peace and to be thankful and aware of how blessed we are.
0:18:40 – Speaker 3
So I feel like we see that we need to be thankful. Through scripture, through studies, we’re seeing this. So how do we practically make this happen? I shared that just little things about telling your kids how much things cost, I feel like, especially this time of year, but again, this needs to be an everyday lifestyle of serving others, just thinking of others before yourself. When my kids were really little and don’t just serve people like, get your kids involved in that, like, how do you wanna serve? What would you like to do? What are you feeling led to do?
When my kid was really little my daughter she said I wanna make cards and take them to kids in the hospital that were sick, like out of the blue. She just said this to me one day, and so I contacted a friend who volunteered at a hospital and I said is this possible? Can we come do this? And she said absolutely, we can do a day. There may be some rooms you’re not allowed to go into because of germs and that sort of thing, but we can make this happen. And so she did little bracelets glow in the dark bracelets. We went to Michael’s and got the dollar. The dollar glow in the dark bracelets. And she made these homemade cards and it still. That was years ago and she still thinks about that Because she it was her idea and so it foster those. Like if your kids come up with an idea, try and make it happen, because that gets them into seeing like my idea helped brighten someone’s day and the focus is not on us and our crummy situation.
0:20:15 – Speaker 1
Yeah, it’s so true. I know a few people personally that once a week they will write a thank you note.
And it’s sometimes on a sticky note to a coworker, sometimes it’s a little letter that they write for their spouse and they said that have just changed their life, because it forces them to sit for a moment, sometimes just like literally two minutes, and think about who are they thankful for and why, and just starting that conversation in their head floods them with all of these things and moments and people that they’re actually thankful for that they weren’t even thinking about.
0:20:48 – Speaker 3
And good memories, and good memories.
0:20:51 – Speaker 1
And putting that to pen. It blesses someone else and helps them to feel thankful. I like the post of note idea a lot. Yes, my husband and I used to do that in college. We would leave each other notes about something we were thankful about for or why we loved each other. On our cars we would leave a post of note. And now my little kids they love it when I write notes in their lunchboxes. I think most kids like that and so it doesn’t have to be extensive or difficult and they’re not talking like pages long, but once a week or more just sitting in for a moment thinking who can I bless, who am I thankful for in this moment and how can I let them know?
0:21:25 – Speaker 3
You know, recently my daughter had like five theater performances in one week and all these tests, it was a stressful week and on a post of note I just wrote I love you. I know it’s a tough week. I’m here for you whatever you need.
0:21:38 – Speaker 2
0:21:38 – Speaker 3
I just put it on her bathroom mirror and didn’t say anything about it, Didn’t like be like. Did you like the note I let Nothing, you know, I just whatever.
And like a couple of days later she was like thank you so much for that note, you know, but it just took her a minute because she was so stressed out, whatever, but I know it meant a lot to her, just that small gesture. And then it was funny, she wrote me a note back and left it on my counter, which was I’m like she’s modeling what I’m doing, exactly Right, that is so important. So that’s good, that we modeled that as well.
0:22:10 – Speaker 1
It’s so true. I know a lot of families do this. We sit at our dinner table at night, on the nights that we can all eat dinner together at the table, and the way that we do this is we say what is the best thing that happened today? And then we say what was kind of a funky thing that happened, and then what can we be thankful for? And it’s a great conversation. And then you also hear about what’s happening in the lives of your loved ones.
And it helps you come back in a place of thankfulness together, like, even though that happened, let me encourage you and let’s be thankful for this, and so that’s a great dinner conversation that can be a habit every night that you and still in your kids that we talk about thankfulness.
0:22:48 – Speaker 3
You could even do that in the car, if you’re picking up fast food, heading to soccer practice or whatever. Absolutely it’s a conversation in the car. That’s a simple conversation. One thing we do is praying. That goes back to the scripture that we just read. But when we pray we list things that we’re thankful for. So every night we will say thank you for our health, Thank you for keeping us safe during the day, Thank you for my husband’s traveling this week, and so thank you for bringing Daddy home safely. Things like that that just you take for granted your health. You take for granted that God brought us all. I always say the morning everybody scatters. Like my kids go all different directions, my husband goes all different directions, and so every morning when we’re praying, we pray God, bring us all home tonight together, back safe and sound, and then that night we always thank God for doing that. You know it’s something we take for granted. In this crazy world, Anything could happen to any of us in our home.
0:23:42 – Speaker 1
It’s so true. There’s so many ways that you can do this, and I’m sure that your mind is probably going with things that you already do or things you could do. A dear friend of mine gave me a thankfulness jar and she wrote little notes on there about miracles that had happened in our life that she had been witness to to help us remain thankful. But we can write anything on those little notes and put in the thankfulness jar to remind you.
0:24:04 – Speaker 3
Well, and on Thanksgiving we have this tradition where we give everybody a card and you have to write 10 things you’re thankful for and we share them at the dinner table. You know, at Thanksgiving that’s one of the things we do. The other thing is, if you have not read Anne Voskamp’s book 1000 Gifts, it’s one of my favorite books ever and it’s all about finding joy in the little things, like all throughout, like she lives on a farm and she would be talking about, like the bird in the tree that she missed, and once her eyes are open she sees so much more to be thankful for. But it’s that whole mind-shifting. It’s an older book but it’s a great one.
0:24:40 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I think the bottom line is start by doing a self-check. Am I thankful and be honest, you know, with yourself. Am I setting an example for my kids and my family and even in my community and at work? Am I looking for things to be thankful for even in the midst of the hard times and even on the mountaintops and by seeing the little things that are still a blessing? Am I role-modeling for my kids and creating a culture of honest conversation and thankfulness in my home and then set up some real practical things just to remind your kids and get them in the habit of being thankful every day?
0:25:11 – Speaker 3
Yep, we’re the role model For our talking points today. One, start the conversation about thankfulness with scripture, science, research or your own stories. Two, create practical ways your family can refocus on thankfulness and make it an everyday practice. And three, do a self-check Am I practicing and modeling thankfulness in my everyday actions?
0:25:34 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. You are not alone, trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page