Seeing the bright side

Any time, Drive time

To play this simple game, list chores or other things that you dislike. Challenge other players to think of the positive aspects of the thing you mentioned.

Help your children understand that there is a positive side to everyday circumstances with this simple game called What’s the Bright Side? You will need a blindfold (or a stretchy headband works well).

Begin by asking your children to help you think of some jobs or things you or your kids dislike. For a parent it may be scrubbing toilets. For a child, eating salmon for supper may tempt them to whine.

Explain to your kids that having a negative attitude means we are “blind” to the many good things in our lives. Then, take turns wearing the blindfold. Think of a scenario in which the person who is wearing the blindfold could be tempted to complain. The blindfolded person then has to think of a reason to be thankful in regards to that situation. (You’ll need to explain that this is called “seeing the bright side.”)

For example, the blindfolded person could say, As much as I hate scrubbing toilets, I am thankful that we have an indoor toilet to use instead of an outhouse. Or, I don’t care for fish, but I am thankful that I have food to eat.

Let everyone have a turn wearing the blindfold and “seeing the bright side.”

For follow up, model gratefulness for your children by stating aloud the things you are choosing to be thankful for. For example, as you load the dishwasher or wash the dishes you might say, Thank You God for all these dirty dishes. Dirty dishes remind me that our family has food to eat. When your children complain about little jobs or inconveniences, you can ask them to “see the bright side.” Don’t forget that you can also encourage them to thank God for difficulties and fears. For example, your child could say, Dear God, I don’t like being scared of the dark, but I’m glad that my fear reminds me to trust You to take care of me. Amen.