Gratitude for emotional intelligence

Mountain View

Emotional intelligence and regulation can be hard to teach. With ADHD, it is even more of a challenge. I love this gratitude journal. It aids the discussions of teaching gratitude for emotional intelligence for both my girls.

Practicing gratitude

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I enjoy quality time with my girls on the nights that I am not working. We use this gratitude journal to remind us nightly that there is always something we can choose to be grateful for. Remembering to focus on the positive in life is hard for anyone. I have seen those in my life with ADHD particularly struggle with this. Daily practice helps. Even on a bad day, stopping to find something to be thankful for helps change the mindset.

Words of the week

The gratitude journal we use has a space to write words of the week. It is fun to have motivational quotes be prompts for discussion. Here are some of our favorite quotes so far.

”Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.” I want my girls to be familiar with the concept that adversity is everywhere. Life challenges are just a strengthening exercise to prepare us for good work.

”The best view comes after the hardest climb.” Like the previous quote, I want to cultivate the expectation in my girls that great things take a lot of hard work and perseverance. I have watched teammates in gymnastics, and sometimes feel a little sorry for the girls that are naturally gifted. Every athlete is going to have challenges to overcome at some point. I am proud to see my girls work hard to achieve their accomplishments, and hope to cultivate that throughout life.

“Everyone has a friend during each stage of life, but only the lucky ones have the same friend in all stages of life.” This quote has been a favorite conversation starter for qualities to look for when choosing friends. It is also a way to discuss when some friends may best be transient due to the character they display. We have lots of discussion of the importance of being the good friend. When conflict arise, there is lots of discussion about why a friend may have responded a particular way. Everyone has bad days! But when overall behavior becomes toxic, it is not always a requirement to invest heavily in everyone.

“Don’t give up, find a way.” A common theme in our discussions to build emotional intelligence is building the expectation of adversity. In addition to building that expectation, I try to teach that problems can be overcome. A big phrase in our house is “stop and resolve.” If the girls encounter a problem following through with instructions, I teach them to persevere, and ask for help if needed.

Random acts of kindness

Another space in the gratitude journal each week is for random acts of kindness. To guide emotional intelligence, I am teaching my girls to focus outwards, which in turn increases their own happiness. Regularly coming up with ways they can show kindness to others helps facilitate this thought process.

Biggs loves to cheer her teammates on. When one of them is struggling to overcome a fear, or physical challenge, she is an amazing cheerleader. She is always thinking of things to share, etc. Little Bit has learned, largely due to the example her big sister sets. But just like practicing gratitude, focusing on ways to be kind builds their emotional intelligence.

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The content in this post is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is merely opinion based on personal research and experience.

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