Welcome to the "culture of appreciation" challenge!

This month our challenge is to create a culture of appreciation in our homes and in our lives.  Each Monday I will present ideas, and I encourage you to let me know what works for you!  

Why focus on appreciation?  Creating a culture of appreciation is the antidote for contempt, which is one of the biggest destroyers of relationships according to research by Dr. Gottman at the University of Seattle.  When we fight contempt, we improve teamwork in our relationships. Appreciation also increases our ratio of positive to negative, which helps our partners and our children to be able to listen better. 

Appreciation can help to improve children's behavior as well!  It increases their ratio of positive to negative interactions. It puts them in a frame of mind that allows them to learn better.  In addition, children's behavior is often a reflection of where we focus our attention.  If we focus our attention on "stop that, don't do that!" then what we get back is often the things that we don't like! If we focus our attention on "You just traded. That was friendly," then we might just get back a child who knows what it means to be friendly and feels good for doing it. 

As mentioned previously, Brene Brown found that practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.  So we are looking for a "tangible gratitude practice."   Clearly you don't have to use all of these ideas.  

Summary:  The "culture of appreciation" challenge encourages us to find a tangible, consistent way to make appreciation a regular practice in our lives.