Winnis Chiang Newsletter
  Personal Note From Winnis
  Feature Article - Cultivating A Family Attitude Of Gratitude
  Chinese Article - Building A House Of Grace For Growth
November 24, 2015
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Hello,

"Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts." (Colossians 3:16)

Are you aware that people cannot be angry and grateful at the same time? What other benefits could an attitude of gratitude bring?

To understand the benefits and try new ideas for helping the whole family learn such attitude, please read the Feature Article Cultivating A Family Attitude Of Gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Winnis
Featured Article
Cultivating A Family Attitude Of Gratitude

Every evening before digging in to dinner, members of the Shilonoff family take turns listing something they received that day, a self-acknowledgment for something that might have been difficult or a stretch, and something for which they are grateful.

A typical response from the children (ages 10, 9 and 6): "I got a compliment from one of my classmates. I finished my piano practice before school. And I'm glad we have a dog and cat."

Though full of the everydayness of life, their responses show that the children—and the whole family—are developing a profound practice of gratitude.

The words thanks, gratitude and giving derive from the word grace and refer to meaningful, authentic ways to acknowledge the grace in our lives. Too often, however, we are trained to notice what is broken, undone or lacking in our lives.

Gratitude is a perception, a way of looking at things, and an attitude of gratitude is a cornerstone of long-term mental and physical health. It balances us and gives us hope.

Numerous long-term studies suggest that a positive, appreciative attitude contributes to greater success in work, greater health, peak performance in sports and business, a higher sense of well-being and a faster rate of recovery from surgery.

But for gratitude to meet its full healing potential in our lives and the lives of our children, it needs to become more than just a Thanksgiving word. When we practice giving thanks verbally for all we have instead of complaining about what we lack, we give our children—and ourselves—the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing.

There are many things to be grateful for: autumn leaves, legs that work, friends who listen and really hear, chocolate, cars that work (usually), warm jackets, jump ropes, garage sales, the ability to read, swings, rain boots, being alive, butterflies. The list is truly endless. To cultivate gratitude, we begin by noticing the concrete ways in which the world supports us each day.

This may mean overcoming the three main obstacles to gratitude: self-preoccupation, expectation, and entitlement.

Self-preoccupation leads us to focus our attention on our problems, difficulties, aches and pains. Similarly, it's only when our expectation isn't met that we notice, such as when a light bulb goes out. And when we think we're entitled to something, we won't consider it a gift.

Some ideas for helping the whole family learn the attitude of gratitude:

• Keep a family gratitude journal or "Gratitude Attitude Calendar." Younger members can write one-word answers.

• Make a gratitude collage by drawing or pasting pictures.

• Practice gratitude around the dinner table or make it part of the bedtime routine.

• Make it a game to find the hidden blessing in a situation.

• Let each child have his or her own day on which the rest of the family tells why they are grateful for his/her life.

• Assign a gratitude list to counteract a litany of complaints.

Bit by bit, an inner shift begins to occur, and we may be delighted to discover how content and hopeful we are feeling. This sense of fulfillment is gratitude at work.

"I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High." (Psalm 7:17)

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

Real Life Story
Building A House Of Grace For Growth

I have learned many things the hard way. That's why I like to share my life experience with you.

One afternoon almost ten years ago, our son's unexpected visit inspired me to write something about how family members can grow together. The English article was published in my newsletter on 5/13/2006. A few years later, it was translated into Chinese and published on the Fullness In Christ Fellowship website. Read my Chinese article, Building A House Of Grace For Growth, to see how love and respect were manifested in one family HERE.

By the way, you are always welcome to read my original article in English, go HERE.
about
Winnis Chiang Winnis Chiang is Founder of Parenting ABC, an organization dedicated to training and coaching Chinese Christian parents from around the world to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and young adults. Her passion is fueled by the new life she received when she found Christ in 1989 after her marriage and parenting were no longer working. She specializes in helping Mandarin and Cantonese speaking parents to get along with, enjoy, and influence their American Born Chinese children.

Winnis is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in California. She holds a M.A. degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from Western Seminary and a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. Her former careers include being a software engineer, development department manager, stay-at-home mom, counselor of kids and teens at public schools, and children's minister.

Winnis and her husband (now a pastor) have been married since 1975 after only three months of dating. They enjoy their son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren!

Winnis Chiang, M.A., LMFT

www.ParentingABC.com

925-806-8600

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